"You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out.
The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.
Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you.
You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him.
Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live
and how they are to behave. But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times,
but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves.
That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you.
If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain,
and all these people will go home satisfied.”
Some of you may be familiar with this passage above. When you really start to pick apart Exodus 18, you can see some incredible leadership principles that are very applicable for today. But this blog is not about leadership - I'll leave that to my husband Frank who is working on his PhD in Global Leadership. Leadership and studying leadership is his passion, not mine, really. But I have learned a few things about this subject in my (gulp) 44 years of life.
Moses was trying to lead the people of Israel, but the problem was that he was micro-managing every little detail of the job, small disputes and large. He couldn't see the forest through the trees. His father-in-law Jethro came over for a visit and watched Moses in action one day, then Jethro cut to the chase and told Moses the way he saw it. In today's lingo, he said, "Dude! What are you thinking? This job is too big for you to do everything by yourself! You need a team of people to help you so you can keep your eyes on the big picture of leading God's people!" Jethro didn't mince words with Moses, and like a wise son-in-law, Moses immediately put Jethro's advice into action.
As I studied this passage, I couldn't help but think of Ireen, the Zambian orphan girl I mentioned in my last blog. I kind of feel like Moses. Overwhelmed, because the job set before me is bigger than I can handle. It overwhelms me. Like Moses, it consumes me.
Ireen's story is poignant; I wanted to give it time to resonate, and I didn't want to post something directly after it that would detract from the potential impact, so I've held off on posting anything else about our trip. But as tends to be my problem, I was less than "fruit of the loom" brief in telling Ireen's story. Some have told me, "I haven't had time to read it yet, but I will." I get that, really I do! So my goal with this blog is to make it short enough to read on your mobile device while in line at Target; short enough to read during the commercial of a Rangers game; and short enough to read before your kids start school on Monday.
Back to Moses. He was trying to do it all himself. The job was overwhelming. He needed a team. And that's what I need for Ireen and her little brother. I received an update recently saying that Ireen's assessment by the CPU (Child Protection Unit) is still pending. I believe in my heart that maybe it's still pending because I haven't found enough sponsors yet for her and her brother to be rescued to live at the Tree of Life Village. It's a burden I wake up thinking about, dream about, and go to bed praying about. I have some of their sponsorship committed to, mind you, but if the government sees fit to place Ireen and her brother in the full-time care of the ministry in Zambia, I definitely don't have enough.
If your heart was broken for Ireen like mine, or for any of the other girls I will post about in the coming days, and you want to step up to be part of "Team Moses" and sponsor an orphan's education or full-time care, would you message me or call me? Maybe you can't give any significant amount on a monthly basis, and I understand that, really I do! Our family is in the midst of actively raising our monthly support as well for our ministry and living expenses. But just because we are "in the ministry" ourselves doesn't excuse me or exempt me from being a giver...and a cheerful one at that!
So this is my final plea (for now!) for Ireen and her brother Nicholas. Would you consider teaming together to accomplish the task? Maybe you can only give $10 - $25 a month. Someone told me they think they can start to donate on a monthly basis now that their Compassion International child is in her 20's. Someone told me they can give $50/month and would commit to 1 year of sponsorship. Whatever you can give, please know that it is desperately needed. Please message me so we can talk more and I can share more about how to join "Team Moses."
I have many more stories to share about what God did in the lives of these sweet girls in Lusaka, Zambia, but before I move on, I must be sure I have done what God has asked me to do. Please stop and pray now and ask God how you can help make the burden lighter.
"The work is too heavy for me; I cannot do it alone."
--- Beth Banfill