Boston #4: When Ministry Is Hard.

This morning we woke up and doned bright orange shirts with two simple words on the front: Do Good. These are the shirts that Encounter Church wears every time they go out as a body to serve their community. Their goal is to be a church that gives back to their community rather than taking from their community. As a part of serving the community our team split into two groups to go clean. One group cleaned up a local church and the other cleaned a playspace for children who are living in homeless shelters. This afternoon we got to make activity books for children who are patients at Children’s Hospital in Boston.   
It was one of the less glamorous days of ministry and we all felt the struggle of that. The Spirit has been stirring up in us as we’ve processed the state of our hearts and minds today. Read on to hear this from the perspective of the two upperclassmen on this trip–  

Today has been one of the more challenging days of this week. As a team, our mindset wasn’t where it needed to be, and it effected the way we represented Jesus, our church to the community. It’s been a hard week knowing that we may not see immediate fruit from our work here. Boston is very much a place where the enemy is at work, which has in turn left us feeling defeated today. Please pray against distractions amongst our team, and that the spirit would come into our minds and our hearts and help to remind us that we’re here for a greater purpose, which is to spread God’s love for His people and set His kingdom down here in Boston.-Annie Stevens, upcoming college freshman at ETBU  

Today was our 4th day in Boston. So far we have spent the first two days touring the city and getting a feel for the people here. The next two days Monday and Tuesday we spent working with churches. Monday we prayer walked for a church called Milestone Church, led by a planter named Jay. We were able to walk across the town of Nattick and pray for every single house in the town. Today my group helped clean a play room for homeless kids and we then created activity booklets for children in a hospital. So far my biggest takeaway from this trip is what ministry looks like in the long run. I am heavily considering full time missions as a career and this trip has provided a lot of insight into what that looks like. The realizations I’ve had are that the majority of ministry is not consistent spiritual encounters every day, but a lot of work days where you don’t see a change or a direct movement of the church. Instead see almost no progress and choose to trust that the Spirit is indeed working in ways you can’t see. It was a good eye opener to the hard parts of ministry.-Graham Varnell, an upcoming senior at The Plano Academy

Tomorrow we get to serve with Encounter again. We will be working on some community beautification by picking up trash in town and then we are going to prayer walk over Encounter Church’s current location and the new location they are hoping to sign a lease on in the coming days. Like Annie said, pray against distractions and for the Spirit to lead our hearts and minds as we work. Ask the Spirit to lead us in the way we should walk and use us for His glory! 

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