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Ministry Hurts.  

Her name is Sandra. She has no mother.

Looking at her, you would not know this about Sandra.  She smiles easily.    Generously.  I met Sandra in West Africa at a Moody Radio Global Partners Training event.  She was one of the students attending courses in the Radio Production track that I help teach in Ghana.

One of the best features of a Global Partners Training event is the daily “One on One” time we build into the schedule. Anyone attending can sign up for a timeslot with any of the presenters to talk about anything they like (typically job or ministry related).

One afternoon, Sandra showed up.  Now, in our seminars, we give practical assignments that are worked on in class, attempting to apply specific principals from the lecture.

Earlier in the day, students were asked to write copy for a radio advertisement of their choosing.  The class was over and we were moving on to other things.  Not Sandra.

She wanted to read to me the radio commercial she had written.  Curiously, it was about a business she would like to launch that sells locally grown honey.  In Sandra’s commercial, she spoke eloquently about the effectiveness of honey to help regulate blood sugar. She told how honey is extremely helpful for anyone facing the challenges of diabetes.

Then Sandra dropped the bomb.  Her mother was dead.  From diabetes.   Sandra was just seventeen when it happened.  She has never gotten over it.  Given an opportunity to write about any product or service in the world, Sandra chose to focus on the one thing that might have helped her mother.  How telling. How touching. 

Honestly, I was crushed. Here is a young girl who needs her mom.  All of her life is ahead of her. Boys surround her (I noticed this at the conference).  She needs the input only a mother can give.  So I gave her the only thing a Dad could give: a word of encouragement and a prayer.

I told Sandra that she was going to go far in life, that she had a great smile.  I also told her that God had chosen a boy for her who loved Jesus and who would treat her well—and she should settle for nothing less.  Then we prayed.

I wished I could have done more.  Said more.  Prayed more. I wanted to fix the unfixable. It is times like that I am reminded—ministry sometimes hurts.  Badly.

Her name is Sandra.  She has no mother. 

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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