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LL: A Ministry of Reconciliation

*This is a part of our series, "Lessons Learned", where we're reflecting on what we've experienced over the last 9 years of ministry! For the rest of the series, you can check the main post: Introduction

When we first pitched the organization in 2015, a word was spoken over the project: 

"This will be a ministry of reconcilation." 

At the time, we couldn't have known all that could or would mean, but the truth is that every ministry is one of reconciliation when the work is being done for Christ and His people:

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. ... For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight-- if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Colossians 1:13-14, 19-23 NKJV (All of Colossians 1 Here)

There is nothing we could do as a ministry that would supersede the opportunity of being an opportunity for someone to hear the Gospel and come to know their Savior. 

AND STILL, the word spoken over this work has been something that we've had to ponder and consider as we see enormous reconciliation take place. 

  1. Seeing believers reconcile the Word of God to their own lives: believing in God and His word is entirely different than living out what the church is called to within Scripture. When we are invited into the ministry and the opportunity to be a part of the calling that has been placed upon the church (caring for vulnerable populations, because we ourselves are cared for by God), we begin to see our faith and our physical lives reconciled. "Love your neighbor" is an active calling, caring for the orphaned, widowed, and displaced, is an active calling upon the church. This ministry has been a part of reconciling the gap between believing and acting upon our beliefs. 

  2. Seeing people reconcile preconceived notions: our society is very broken. Our world is very broken. And because we've all been hurt by others, it's easy to assume that every new person is going to add on to that hurt. It's a beautiful thing to be able to challenge these assumptions and reconcile what we believe COULD be possible into what is ACTUALLY happening. 

  3. Seeing families reconciled when possible: this was the initial assumption made when the word "reconciliation" was applied to our ministry. Whenever possible, we want to see families restored to one another, and that's possible when we extend our reach beyond the primary client to their larger circle. 

  4. Reconciling societal debt: Building upon the reconciliation of families, there's a reconciliation of societal debt at play when we take part in this work. In the US (and around the world), the foster care system is claiming to be capable of caring for youth coming from negative circumstances (primarily neglect and abuse). But we've seen time and time again that youth aging out of care are left vulnerable and further distanced from support systems. The foster care system is needed - but there's a long way for our society to go in order to claim that it is best. Taking part in the work of caring for those aging out is a reconciliation of communities to each other - it's a beautiful invitation into the lives of our neighbors and a chance to say "I will take care of you, we will take care of each other". 

Reconciliation is a beautiful thing - and it's an active act. It happens deliberately. The lesson for us, beyond acknowledging the layers of this ministry, is that reconciliation is possible and is needed in order to restore things to "right". 

We're praying that these reconciliations continue within our ministry and, in turn, our society. What would you like to see reconciled within our society and systems? Comment below!


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