Here is an excerpt from a letter that I wrote to a long-time friends upon hearing that they would no longer be able to support AYM due to retiring....A little reminiscing of how God made a beautiful collision into my life...
All of this is to say thank you for your trust, sacrifices, and prayers for what God is doing through us. I pray that God would continue to put a dream (a vision for purpose) in the simple nobody’s….the most unassuming congregants of GCC… just as he did with a young punk, home-grown kid like me…
Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth would even care to know my name? It was somewhere around 1994 when we were invited by friends to attend an Easter cantata at GCC. Darcy and I were newly married (1991) and quickly had two beautiful boys. Both of us had grown up un-churched but we both were set on taking the boys to church because we thought it would be the right thing to do for them. We couldn’t have been more wrong…the Lord was revealing Himself to us too! His love, grace, redemption, and calling became so irresistible that we soon found ourselves going forward to be saved from our sins and be totally committed to His call on our lives. We learned so much in those early years…the young married class was amazing and we developed close supporting friends there. A youth mission’s trip to Arizona was when God really spoke to my heart about stepping out. I’ll never forget when it happened….a little native girl looking up at me with love as she clung to my leg up on the Navajo rez. God used that hug and the silence of a child to ask me, ”Ron, could you do something for me?”
Me? I love the story of Jesus and the disciples in Matthew 14:13 and on (and illustration points by Andy Stanley). I’m sure you’re familiar with it… the disciples went to Jesus with a big problem…too many people, too little food and they are all in a solitary place…in the middle of nowhere and everyone is hungry. The disciples go to Jesus with their plan…send everyone away so they can go into town and get something to eat. Jesus says to them the people don’t need to be sent away, they need to be fed. They give Him the excuse, thousands of people… only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Jesus gently says bring the food to Me and then gives it back to them to pass out. Everyone gets fed and there is extra.
Immediately after this story Jesus invites Peter to walk on water.
These stories could sum up my calling. I never thought I had much to offer God. I considered myself a simple man with little education and a desire to go wherever He would lead me. Like the disciples, I too would have doubted what God could do around or through me. And Jesus tells me the same thing He told them…you give Me all you have and trust Me to do what only I can do. Give Me your “fish”….step out of your comfort zone (your boat) and trust Me to do what only I can do.
I’m deeply humbled to have watched God work through me. I’ll never feel worthy but I’ll always be grateful and amazed at all that He has done through me as I have been available to serve and inspire hundreds of Native youth throughout the years. He has given me an amazing platform to bring a message of hope, love, purpose, and redemption to a broken and over-looked people group. And now, He is teaching me how lead a fast-growing organization that year-by-year is enlarging its impact on the Ft. Apache Indian Reservation.
There have been times that people have said to me “you can’t” or “you’ll never” because of my lack of whatever. But I’ll continue to declare that no matter who is with me, or around me, or supporting me…I’ll continue to believe that I can do all things through Him who strengthens and empowers me and stand back and watch in awe as He does what only He can do.
Your 10+ years of faithful support amazes me, thank you. May God bless you both as you serve Him at GCC and beyond.
Giving all I am and trusting Him to do what only He can do…