Often, I get asked the question: “What do you do as the Development Director of Sanctuary Inn? Do you raise money for Sanctuary Inn?” When I say, “yes” the majority of people cringe and say, “I could NEVER do that!” Well, yes I do help to raise support for Sanctuary Inn, but it is a lot more enjoyable than you might think.
I just got back from a 10 day East Coast trip and yes God did provide new monthly income, one time gifts, and from a “support” standpoint it was a very successful trip. But that wasn’t the highlight. The highlight was seeing people’s faces when they were able to experience the ministry of Sanctuary Inn first hand. How is it possible to be on the East Coast and still experience Sanctuary Inn you might ask.
Before I left I asked Kara Githens, our Care Coordinator, if she could put together a list of questions similar to some that she might ask a guest she was meeting with here at Sanctuary Inn. She called it “Debriefing your Day.” We tailored her questions to a group setting. Here are those questions:
Introduce yourself to those around you. If you know the person(s), come up with something that they might not know about you.
- Use one or two words to describe your day.
- What has been the hard part of your day?
- What has been something to celebrate or be thankful for?
- How have you seen God show up in your day?
- What do you want to take away from this evening into tomorrow?
Throughout the presentation we would take about 5 minutes for each question and it was amazing to me how fast we went from those “surface” conversations, you know the ones that you tell everyone that “life is so good, and you don’t have a single problem,” to going deep and hearing stories of pain, doubt, joy, faithfulness, and how God is always there no matter what our circumstances may be.
Through this process I saw people take some deep breaths, laugh, hold back tears, and most of all, proclaim the faithfulness of God. I tell you this because this is what Sanctuary Inn is all about! Given the right amount of time, space, and community missionaries have the opportunity to process their time on the field. Each missionary story is different, but what never changes is how God continues to be the main character of the story.
I’m sure many of you right now reading this have had a difficult day, week, month, or year. Sometimes when we are going through difficult times, it is hard to see where God could possibly be. Taking the time to stop, and reflect with others is often the key to seeing God at work. There is healing power in telling your story.
I want to encourage you to carve out some time this week, find a friend, your spouse, or a small group and “Debrief Your Day” with them. Allow God to speak to you and show you where he has been and proclaim His faithfulness no matter the circumstances.
To all of you who support Sanctuary Inn financially: THANK YOU! Because of your generosity we are seeing more and more people equipped, refreshed, and restored as they proclaim God’s faithfulness in their lives and look to the future with hope and assurance that He will continue to lead and guide them.
Dan Abbott for the Sanctuary Inn Team