The Lord has given us a heart to mentor and come alongside pastors and leaders. Dawn and I feel the Lord’s pleasure when we encourage others. He’s gifted both of us in this way, and in this season of our lives we’ve seen our influence grow. It’s a privilege for us to be spiritual parents to our friends, that we like to call our familia. God continues to bless with a special relationship with each of them.
Our experiences in life, including how we’ve suffered through our daughter moving to heaven when she was only 22 years old has created a platform for us to minister from. I believe that this is one way the Lord is bringing redemption and restoration to us for what we have suffered.
God Uses Our Experiences – Including Our Pain
I must admit that I don’t understand fully why our daughter had to die at such a young age. It’s something that I don’t think will ever make sense this side of heaven. Yet, I believe in God’s promises.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
God has a good plan for my family and me, even when I don’t fully understand. He also has a way of turning evil around. He uses things for our good that were intended by the enemy to harm us. The harm, the evil and the suffering that we experience in life are part of living in a fallen world.
Joseph understood God’s goodness and His plan, and how the Lord has a way of turning things around. He became one of the most powerful people in the world, yet that journey began with him being sold into slavery by his brothers. God worked in Joseph’s heart and gave him a new perspective, which allowed him to say to his brothers.
“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”
Genesis 50:20 NKJV
Dawn and I see how the Lord has used even the difficult things in our lives to increase our faith, and to broaden our influence. We give thanks for God’s mighty work in expanding His kingdom and for allowing us to be a part of that.
Mentoring as Padre and Madre
We love the relationships that we have with the pastors and leaders that we work with. Many of them call us Padre and Madre (Dad and Mom). This is more common among Latinos, because they are very family oriented. It speaks of more than just a business or working relationship – something much deeper, which is life giving.
Even today one of the leaders that we are partnering with told me that she did not have a good relationship with her dad, because her dad left her family when she was young. She said that the Lord has blessed her through our relationship, and she often calls me Papá or Daddy. Dawn has similar relationships with many of the young men and women that we minister with.
A Mentor Strengthens and Encourages
It’s a unique ministry in a sense, because most pastors don’t have someone to mentor them and because of that they often feel isolated and alone. I love this passage in Acts 14, which speaks of Paul and Barnabas as they are traveling and visiting the churches they helped start. Acts 14:22 says Paul and Barnabus were “strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.”
That passage speaks to the heart of what Dawn and I do in ministry. We are strengthening and encouraging pastors and leaders. As we do so they are growing in their faith and maturity, so that they are better equipped to lead. It’s not been easy to lead and plant churches especially during these last two years. The COVID crisis which we’ve all grown tired of by now has increased the challenges for leaders and ministries.
We give thanks to the Lord for using our gifts and experiences in these ways. It is a privilege for us to serve to Lord to strengthen and better equip others.
Join us in Prayer
We appreciate your prayers for us, as we mentor the pastors and leaders we are partnering with. Pray that the Lord’s kingdom will be expanded through these relationships.
In His Grip, Dave