Two years! We arrived in Dulce two years ago this week! It's hard to imagine that it's already been two years, but as my husband shared in his reflections, we have experienced much here in these two years.
When I think of two years here, it makes me look ahead to the next 8-12 years. We planned to stay 10+ years here in Dulce, which means we're already almost 20% "done," whatever that means.
Ministry, like glass work, is a process. You start with a pattern, a plan. For me, most of the planning in ministry here has to do with the children. We've had two years of Sunday School experiences and one year of AWANA experience. Our plans were clear-cut and simple: Bring God's Word to the Jicarilla Apache children of our church and community.
The first year, our Sunday School teachers prepared their own lessons, a month at a time. Sometimes this went well, and sometimes it didn't. In my own teaching month, I realized that I had to adjust my expectations in many ways! For example, our children ranged in age from 2-12. And the number of children varied from 1-26!
In the second year, we tried a video curriculum. This was a total bomb. There were about 2 children who were interested in the video regularly. It was only a couple of months into the year that we went back to plan-your-own-lessons.
This year, we have a prepared curriculum for multi-aged groups. We are hoping to meet the needs of our children better this year. I imagine that we have some surprises in store for us this year, as well! My plans are building on what I've learned each year, and hopefully I will continue to improve the planning for Sunday School.
I'm actively involved in a homeschool co-op, and we're developing a network of homeschooling families here on the reservation. This isn't directly connected to our church, but ministry isn't always in the context of a church!
Like glass, the picture of ministry here in Dulce continues to develop, and I look forward eagerly to what is to come in the next years. We pray that God will guide our work here, bless our efforts, and bring much fruit from the ministry of His church on the reservation.
And like glass, the process sometimes changes what is planned. I pray that I will remain malleable like clay in God's hands. I pray that God will melt me, mold me, fill me, use me... all the days we are here (and beyond)!
For ultimately, it is His work here that matters, not mine. The work He does through my hands and the hands of others, not my plans. I need only be faithful and trust His work and His timing. And a beautiful, finished creation will be completed. That's His promise.