• Men’s Training Institute …by Jim Cole

    Haven of Rest recently hosted a training event for those that work with men in rescue mission ministry. The training institute has been training workers from Haven of Rest and missions throughout the country for 23 years. It’s been my privilege to organize and MC the event for the past three years.

    One of the greatest joys I’ve experienced during the events through the years has been getting to know men and women from other missions. We learn so much from each other. We are encouraged by one another in our work and our personal walk with the Lord. This event is a time of refreshing.

    This year, one of our speakers was Dr. Donald Lichi from Emerge Ministries. He shared on the topic of compassion fatigue. Almost every evaluation form from the event that I read listed his session as the favorite. Here are a couple of the enduring thoughts that he left with us. Proverbs 4:23 states, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” As ministry and the demands of life pull at us from every direction, he urged us to not confuse your work for the Lord with your walk with the Lord, a timely reminder to rest and walk with our Savior.

    Another thought that struck a cord with me related to how people change. When we share the gospel, we are asking people to respond to God and allow Him to change them at their very core. In rescue mission work, this is a daily conversation. The challenge can be to remember that the people that need to change are not only those we minister to, but ourselves as well. We have to continually trust and submit to the Lord, and as we walk through that process, we can guide others in it as well. Without the Lord, compassion fatigue/burnout is inevitable. Dr. Lichi reminded us that our will is not sufficient to bring about change, but our will must show up.

    The aforementioned phrase struck me as a great way to describe the interplay between the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts and our responsibility. We can’t do it on our own, but we are not without hope. As we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. That is good

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    news for you, me and our guests here at the Mission.

    Jim Cole
    Director, Men’s Division