Being a servant in the kingdom of God puts us in a position to strap on other people’s burdens or our own burdens that we create as a result of the work that we do. Whether you are working with a child who comes from an abusive home, or hearing the heartbreaking story of a woman who was thrown into sex slavery, the burdens we can feel as a result are heavy and relentless. Are they truly ours to carry? Is that what God intends? No they are not, and no he does not! As a servant it is simply our job to be the listener, the encourager, the guider, the counselor, and the mentor. Not the burden barer. “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”(Psalm 55:22). Yes it is biblical to take a burden from another person. “Bare one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2) However, they are not yours to carry, give them to God. In doing so, you give honor and glory to Him and you are able to stay strong for others. Surrender your burdens each day, lay them at His feet.
By James “Rocky” Curtiss
“Just as there are no little people or unimportant lives, there is no insignificant work.”
– Yelena Bonner (wife of Soviet Union dissident Andrei Sakharov)
In our service at The Source we are introduced to dozens of teens whom the world finds small and insignificant. We can’t think such thoughts. The obvious and foremost reason is that each of us had our own “Road to Damascus” encounter with Jesus; each of us met the Lord when we were at our lowest and cleave to Him for our salvation. He didn’t wait until we were “good enough to save;” He confronted us when we were most combative, He found us when we were farthest away, He lifted us when we were under our heaviest burdens, He chased us when we were at the height of rebellion, He loved us when we were most hateful; and He continues to pursue us when we stray.
We determined ourselves to be unimportant; Jesus did not. In His creation there are no extraneous people. We recognize many resist the Savior, refuse salvation; but there are none who are “unworthy” of Christ’s offer of love through us. We are called to serve; we are commissioned to offer salvation. Every young boy we meet is placed before us by a God who loves him; every young girl put in our path is revealed by a Father who treasures her. It is the Spirit of God Himself who put us into this ministry; the same Spirit who led us to Christ says, “I love these children. As I have loved you, love them.”
The Source is a young ministry, and, by the world’s standards, small. But when God says “Go and serve,” we don’t ask, “How many will we reach, Father?” We don’t consider the cost; neither do we imagine the accolades. The spirit of the Father put a burden in our hearts, and the remedy is to share His love. It’s simple, yet it’s not. Realizing not every story has a happy ending has been a hard lesson to learn. We aren’t naive, but we are optimistic; the Creator of the universe has ordained us.
This coming spring we will open Reclamation Youth Home; a foster care facility for young teen boys in crisis; another small step with big dreams. We aren’t seeking applause, but we covet your prayers. You are welcome to share in this cause financially, but only if you are seeking God’s will and he has directed you to The Source. He is our provision; He is our encouragement; He is our “Source.”
by James “Rocky” Curtiss
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
This familiar, yet poignant scripture has been the bellwether for Christian families for generations, but at The Source it has occasioned to present us with challenges. When we are introduced to the juveniles we hope to influence, in most cases so much familial damage has transpired that part of our message has to include un-training the thoughts and behaviors that brought the youth to our attention.
Many of the teens we meet have been taught these negative patterns: neglect, abuse, dishonesty, hatred, alcohol, and drugs. None of them started out destined for criminal behavior, dreaming of getting high, or hoping to find themselves in Juvenile Detention or the foster care system. Neither do we believe this was the intention of their parents when their children were born. And yet, during their young lives things went awry, hope was dashed, and negative patterns were introduced; eventually ingrained.
The reasons are legion, and peculiar to each individual. We have all heard testimonies of amazing transformations when people come to Christ; instant healing physically, emotionally, and spiritually. However, for reasons often difficult to grasp, the process of change is a strenuous path. It can be a challenge even for so-called, normal, people.
The Christmas season is almost upon us and many in our community will string outdoor lights along the eaves of their houses. Unfortunately, not all took the time to store their lights carefully, and what they will find when they pull them out of storage are strings and lights horribly tangled. A few individuals might spit out a few choice words, throw the balls of lights into the dumpster, and proceed to buy new. But most will take the time to untangle the “rat’s nest,” experiencing aggravation and frustration in the task.
This metaphor of the Christmas lights serves to give an image of the lives we encounter in this ministry; twisted, tangled, and challenged, but it ends there; these youth are not decorations, they are not seasonal; and, at The Source, we never consider tossing them into the dumpster. They are precious children for whom Jesus died, just as he died for each of us. They are not to be shunned, criticized, or feared. They need patience and love to be “untrained.” In short, they need Jesus and the realization of their own intrinsic value to God.