350px-GW_BridgeAs a Special Gathering member sat on the George Washington Bridge that links New Jersey to New York City, she and her parents were irritated.   A terrible traffic jam was delaying their tour of the World Trade Center.  They had planned to be in the building before 9AM so that they could avoid the people coming to work.  Instead the three of them sat on the bridge like many of the employees who worked in the famous building.

The date was September 11, 2001 and that traffic jam saved their lives.

There are occasions that miracles appear as negative influences or occasions interrupting our lives and plans.  Later, we realize that God was working out these things for our good by allowing us to be caught in a traffic jam, to miss a plane or to forget an important appointment.

I’ve lost several “dream jobs” by a whisper because of one unavoidable circumstance or another. Yet, my true dream job was planned in the future when the Lord introduced me to The Special Gathering and our amazing members.

Paul and King AgrippaThe Bible shares many times that God works miracles through negative circumstances.  Paul was arrested and stayed in prison for several years paving his passage to Rome. Through the rough years when he remained behind bars, he encountered kings and governors who would have been out of his reach as a missionary.

While it’s hard to sit patiently in stalled traffic and even harder to imagine lost opportunities for advancement and promotion, we can be sure that if we have placed our lives in the hands of a faithful and loving Father, He can turn these negative experiences into megative miracles.

After 45 hours on my feet with only three hours of sleep, my feet and legs ache.  However, our Christmas play was a great success.   

How do I know it was successful?  There were at least 350 smiling people who left the Saturday and Sunday evening performances.  Most of all, our actors and choir members were rejoicing that they were able to be a part of this annual Christmas event. 

Our members are developmentally disabled.  They participate each week in The Special Gathering of Indian River which is a ministry within the mentally challenged community.  At Special Gathering, we don’t do social work, but evangelism and discipleship.  Our annual Christmas play is a thank-you gift to the community.

Most of our members who participated had worked hard for three months, and they were reaping the rewards of a difficult  job well done.  The choir sang with boisterous gusto.  They were dressed, polished and shining.  They’ve been practicing since July.

In Vero, our play director was Diane Wihlborg.  In Melbourne, the director was Barbara Kenney.  They did exceptional jobs.  However, even they couldn’t have been successful without the 20 or so volunteers who stepped in and worked extra hours.   They give and give beyond what can ever be expected.

Whenever a big event is endeavored, the “play is the thing.”  However, it’s the volunteers and leadership who truly make any endeavor successful.

Give us some ideas.  What do you do to make your volunteers and leadership team know they are valued and needed?