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Ministry Moments Blog
A devotion by Brenda DeVillez, Parent Aide Team Supervisor - Maricopa County
We’ve asked a few different people to tell us about their “why” in their ministry area, today we hear about Parent Aide from Brenda DeVillez.
…Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. - Matthew 20:26-28
I need to give a little background about myself in order to get to the “why.” I had the blessing of growing up as a missionary kid. My father did church planting in Mexico. My parents were constantly meeting new people and also going into neighborhoods that needed much help. My parents would at times “drag” me along on these meetings. Even though at the time I may have been “bothered” by it, I was able to see what serving others looked like. Jesus Himself came to serve and not to be served. My life experiences have led me to where I am today. I have been called to serve and am blessed that I am able to do that here at ABCS. The families that we come in contact with through the Parent Aide program are hurting. They can be difficult and at times we might think they are “undeserving” (for whatever reason). Regardless of their background, we are here to serve these families just as Jesus has instructed us. My desire for us all is that through our servant-like attitude, we continue to provide hope and care to these hurting families.
A devotion by Mike Taylor, Arms of Love Foster Care Licensing Specialist - Pima County
We’ve asked a few different people to tell us about their “why” in their ministry area, today we hear about Foster Care from Mike Taylor.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. – Ephesians 3:20
There are times in our lives when life gets in the way of our calling and God makes us come to place of searching, struggle and redirection in which all you can say is, “What’s next, Lord?” ABCS is my “Next.” God opened a door for a new kind of ministry that allowed me to use my many experiences as a Christian, a pastor and a parent (birth, foster and adoptive). I have been amazed by the situations that God has put me in that I thought, “been there, done that.” This has shown me how God allowed me to be in those situations so that I could use those experiences to help other people as they seek God’s vision for their future. So what has this taught me? For me it comes down to, if God is who the Bible says He is, I simply must trust God moving forward. I am very grateful for the many experiences I have had and am now experiencing, and have been amazed at how God has used even some very painful experiences to supply me with grace, strength and growth opportunities to help others. The “Next” times are rarely easy, but God has never failed me in each of those times and I agree with Paul in Ephesians 3:20. My “Why” is because God made ABCS my “Next.” I see my current “Next” as a bridge that God uses to help others find their “What’s Next?”
Many New Life Transitional Program participants wonder how their lives got so out of control. They know it didn't happen over night, and they hope to make their lives manageable again. That is part of the healing journey clients take every day.
One client, Esmeralda (name changed) had a rocky childhood. By her teenage years, she was angry and self-destructive. She found ways to numb herself with drugs and unhealthy relationships. When she found out she was pregnant she was overwhelmed with fear and uncertainty. "I couldn't see myself as a good person, let alone a mother."
During her pregnancy, Esmeralda stayed with her uncle, a believer. He would talk to her about the Lord, and he often had worship music playing in the home.
One day, out of habit, she was on her way to meet with her drug dealer. She says God stopped her in her tracks. "It felt like I was in cement. I stopped where I was and cried out to God, I can't do this anymore! I don't know how to believe that you love me!" She says in that moment she experienced God's presence for the first time.
That day, instead of getting high, she went to detox and rehab. She started pursuing God by meeting with a pastor, reading scripture and going to Bible studies. After having her son, though, she fell into old patterns. Her new baby was removed from her care.
"I knew I had to move forward or I was going to lose everything," Esmeralda said. She decided she would do everything she could to get her son back. She cooperated with the Department of Child Safety (DCS) and found resources like the New Life Transitional Program. Through her work to get her life back together, Esmeralda found a job and housing, and she eventually got her son back!
Esmeralda will now tell you that she has good and bad days. She says on the bad days she has to give herself permission to feel and work through it. Her son and her growing relationship with the Lord are her motivation to keep moving forward, one step at a time.
A devotion by Stacy Madson, ABCS Ministry Support Specialist - Statewide Operations
We’ve asked a few different people to tell us about their “why” in their ministry area, today we hear about Statewide Operations from Stacy Madson.
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ - Matthew 25:40
Over the past 10 years of serving in this ministry, God has been helping me to see others as He sees them; in the light of His great love for us. Working at the front desk gives me an amazing opportunity to help others in meeting their physical needs through material assistance to welcoming clients who are hurting and seeking counseling. My desire is that those who come into the office will not feel judged, but will feel God’s love through our interactions. Jesus was the greatest example of all as He showed compassion, love, and forgiveness to others even in the act of their sin. Jesus met people right where they were in their hurt and shame; He gave them hope through trust in Him. I pray that even in the midst of a busy or stressful day, we would always remember the importance of taking the time to share God’s love with everyone God brings us in contact with inside and outside the doors of ABCS.
A devotion by Amanda Villareal, Parent Aide Team Supervisor - Pima County
We’ve asked a few different people to tell us about their “why” in their ministry area, today we hear about Parent Aide from Amanda Villareal.
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me. - Romans 15:1-3
A major topic dominate verses 1-3: pleasing others instead of ourselves. We have to ask ourselves, “how can I help those around me? In Parent Aide we work with truly broken families. We have a responsibility as believers to build up and encourage others if they are struggling with certain things. As such it is important for us to endure the struggles of our weaker brothers and sisters without passing judgement. Instead we should strive to encourage and build them up for good.