Spiritual Gifts

Spiritual Gifts

We all have been graced with spiritual gifts. We may not know what they are, but they are part of us and come through whether identified or not. The fact that there are a “great variety of spiritual gifts” is evident when working with groups going to Peru. I am always thankful for the variety of gifts and gift combinations amongst us because it means that everyone on a trip contributes in a unique way to the group and that is what makes us truly a team. My gifts of Administration, Leadership, and Pastor/Shepherd help me to plan, coordinate, and lead the trips in conjunction with others, which is one of my roles on these adventures. All of us drawn to these trips have to some degree the gift of Service. We feel called to serve in love to help bring about the improvement of communities near and far.

Back in 2009 when San Gabriel Presbytery (SGP) sent its first group of people to get trained for the Living Waters for the World (LWW) ministry work we had no idea where that training would take us. Since 2010 when we first traveled to Peru we’ve had a good number of people beyond that initial group participate in trips to build relationships with Peruvian brothers and sisters, to help install water purification systems, and to lead health and spiritual education. It’s been a rich and enriching experience for everyone.

In the eight years we’ve been traveling to Peru we have become covenant relationship partners with seven different communities in Peru. Six water systems have been installed to date in churches, community centers, and a school. A seventh system is going to be installed at a school in Lima this May.

Do you feel called to serve in love to help improve communities near and far? Might you want to use your gift of Service and the others you have been given on a trip to Peru with the SGP LWW team? We can use people with all kinds of spiritual gift combinations and would love to have you join us this May when we install a water purification system at the school in Lima.

The trip dates are May 24 – June 2, 2018. If you want more information contact Rev. Cyndie Crowell or Wendy Gist as soon as possible.

Overcoming Adversity

Overcoming Adversity

Guest Author: Wendy Gist.

If I had been asked to write this column a week ago, the Bible verses I selected for this week’s column would not have been my chosen verses. I was far from a “Praise the Lord!” place. I was not thanking God. Instead I was stressed out and frustrated and not thinking happy thoughts.

There had been a fairly major setback on one of the projects I was working on and I wasn’t getting information from others that I needed to make my way forward clear. So, the setback lingered and the feeling of frustration festered. After days of waiting and stress building, my shoulders and neck were tight with tension. It was only then at this very low point that I finally remembered to take my burden to God in prayer and not try to get through this on my own. So, pray I did. It was after praying that I received an idea of one possible way to resolve this issue that actually excited me.

As we’ve all heard before, God sometimes works in mysterious ways. Let’s move back in time about a month. I’m sure you all remember our June 17th Presbytery meeting and Day of Service. I signed up to serve at Door of Hope in Pasadena along with a number of others, including a group of Tapestry kids and their leaders. We met there, took a tour while hearing about what Door of Hope does, and then started work on the available tasks. I knew a couple of the people who signed up to work alongside me, but mostly these were new folks for me. During lunch I made a point of sitting with a group I didn’t know and chatting awhile with one person in particular. Overall, it was a very good service day experience, enhanced by those I worked and talked with.

Now let’s fast forward back to a few days ago after praying to God to bring resolution to this problem I was experiencing. It was after that that I remembered the person I chatted with during lunch on our Presbytery Day of Service and the very positive impression she left on me. I reached out to her via email with a subject line that said “An urgent, but crazy question.” She responded that same day in a way that gave me immediate hope and relieved much of the stress I was feeling. One day later, a happy and exciting resolution emerged, and my problem and stress faded away.

Do I think God was in this? Absolutely! Was God just waiting for me to settle down enough and humble myself enough to reach out in prayer? Absolutely! Am I now praising the Lord and thanking God with all my heart? Absolutely! Will I remember to reach out to God sooner next time? I sure hope so.

God always remembers us – is always there for us and with us. We are the ones who have to remember to include God instead of trying to go it alone.

Wendy Gist
Mission Advocate