At Camp Agape

At Special Gathering, much like your own ministry, there is much debate about health and safety.  For a couple of weeks our executive director and area leader for several counties has been fighting a virus that doesn’t want to go away.  Even though he is no longer contagious, he simple doesn’t feel up to par.  He would much rather stay in bed than get up and run his weekly programs.  But he gets up and he goes in spite of his feeling of weariness.

There is no doubt that without someone to be in charge of a program, we cannot have the Special Gathering program.  Yet, what do we do in emergencies?  For about seven years, I had in place a plan for what would happen if my husband died on the weekend when we were having Special Gathering or during camp.

A few years ago, our South Carolina program director started taking her members on cruises.  The agency could not send paid staff; and so she went as an unpaid volunteer.  On occasion, she would ask me to go with her as an additional volunteer.  Again, we put into place what would be expected should our mother or my husband died.

When we were out of the country, we asked that we not be contacted because there was nothing we could do until we came home.  At camp, I’m less than an hour away from my home.  Yet, we put the same plan in place during that time.

Fortunately, the Lord was gracious and we didn’t have to put our plan in place but the instructions were there.  Honestly, at times, I balked inwardly at having to do this kind of preparation.  However, the reality is that we deal with medically fragile and vulnerable adults.  Once an event is in place, we don’t have the luxury to stopping to meet a personal emergency.

As a caveat, the Lord has been gracious.  No emergency has ever happened during a time that was not “convenient.”  (Can an emergency ever be convenient?)  In addition, I’ve seen all our my grandchildren within 24 hours of their births. And they were all born at least a thousand miles from our Central Florida home.

Whether you are involved in a ministry for a special needs population or not, I’ve come to believe that all of our lives should be lived in a state of preparation.  We need to exist  much like the Lord’s parable that tells us that we should not begin to build a house until we count the cost of the construction supplies and labor.  We should not go to war unless we have the troops and will to win.  We must count the cost but He plans and knows our future.

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