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Required Reading For Ministry Volunteers

Part 1: Weekly and occasional teams.

Hundreds of people just like yourself have made this trip out to the Sunchild mission and assisted in the ministry, anywhere from an entire year to just one day. These people have come from Africa, many European countries, South America, the Middle East, China, Japan, Korea, USA, ...virtually the entire world. For some it has been a major highlight of their life, while for a few it would have been best if they had not come.

The fact that you are making this trip probably sets you apart from the average Christian in that you must have a higher level of dedication and spiritual experience or you wouldn't be interested. That alone means you probably have enough experience and common sense that we don't need to evaluate you and waste time briefing you. Occasionally we do get someone that could have benefited with some advice, so we will go over a few of the most needed items.

Most of what I have to say relates to the attitude of how serious you are about going. A lot of planning to prepare for the days lessons and activities is going into this. Occasionally someone signs up to go and doesn't show up. Depending on your assignment, this can really make it hard on the team. Karen and others are working all week long to prepare for Sunday and even then she always has to work very late into Saturday night, at times all night, to get things ready. We like for you to get signed up at least a week ahead of time, longer if possible, as this makes it easier to for everyone to prepare. Please don't cancel out unless it is truly necessary, and if you do have to cancel, please let us know as soon as you find out. It's not unusual for Karen to spend a big part of Saturday night trying to find a replacement for someone who just let us know they aren't going! Part of the planning is for vehicles. We normally have three or four vehicles from Three Hills, Rocky Mt. House, Eckville, etc. all coming to the Reserve on Sundays. We have to run enough vehicles to transport everyone who is signed up to go on any particular day. In order for you to go we may be running an extra vehicle, and if you end up not coming, it could mean we are paying the expenses to run a vehicle we could have done without for that day. Having said that, if you didn't sign up to go and then find out at the last minute that you would be available, we do want you to contact us and see if we can work you in. We always need you and often are looking hard, right up to the last minute for more help.

As a mature Christian you know the importance of spending adequate time in prayer before going out to minister. If you neglect prayer, you can well expect the day to be somewhat wasted.

If you are not living a victorious Christian life, your time will better spent dealing with your need than going to the Reserve. You will be most effective with the light of Heaven in your eyes and a genuine smile on your face when you come to the Reserve. Christian 'joy' is a terrible, effective weapon against the darkness on the Reserve. So remember to smile. Much more important than anything you say will be your smile. It will bless the team as well. Having said that, almost everyone who comes to the Reserve goes home with the realization that there is a lack in their spiritual life. You will be painfully aware that you have a need for more love, more anointing, more patience, more spiritual power, more prayer, and etc. So don't be discouraged, just deal with it because God has all you need.

Most people find the Reserve to be a spiritual battlefield. It is common for volunteers to feel darkness, depression, discouragement, etc. The most important thing I have to say in regard to this is for you to learn to "Resist the devil and he will flee from you." Encourage yourself in the Lord, thank and praise Him. Learn to do this or you will have a strong negative effect on the team and ministry. Expect opposition, and don't be too amazed when it happens. Be prayed up and committed to the Lord.

Give individual attention to those you feel drawn to. Some of these people have needs that you can't imagine and God wants to minister to them through you. Don't feel guilty about giving someone extra attention that you can't do for everyone. That person may have a desperate need and God is drawing you to them and wanting to touch them through you. This will always happen, so please don't fail them. Take a little gift every time you go and pick someone to make friends with, share pictures with, and etc. You will be Jesus to that person. Afterwards remember to pray faithfully for them. In any average size group, some of these young people will end up dying by suicide. Last year we lost one young man we had targeted for ministry and had spent a lot of time with. We knew him from his birth.

Karen & I want your feedback. We need it to meet needs and make improvements. We want everyone who goes to give us some kind, any kind, of feedback. Tell us what is good and what is not so good. It is very important.

A few odds and ends to wrap it up. Please don't use this trip as an occasion for a date. It is a real distraction to everyone. If you need something special to eat, remember to bring it with you. We try to remember to pack lunches, but sometimes we forget, or can't, or may not have what you can eat. Dress warm enough that if you have to be outside you will be warm enough. Everyone dozes off in the van at some point and a pillow may prevent a stiff neck. Some people throw stuff at the driver to keep him awake...M&M's and Hershey Kisses are preferred. Hopefully the word won't get out that the driver is faking just to collect the loot.

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