Laura Copeland of Christianity Today stated, “One of the greatest privileges of ministry is having a front-row seat to the life change that happens when God is at work in someone’s life”. In the last three years, Restore has been in the front-row seat to witness the miraculous changes in the lives of victim-survivors of trauma and in their families. What a privilege it has been to see personal growth, healing, and recovery from situations that rendered them helpless.
The Restore staff are an integral component to the healing journey of the kids and their families. To celebrate, reflect and thank God for His enduring love, goodness and faithfulness that have sustained them, the Restore staff attended a two-day retreat. The boat ride to the island was terrifying but was it worth it! We were awestruck by the beauty that surrounded us. The boat ride depicted Restore’s experience in the last three years. There were times of uncertainty and questioning, but God always brought us to an unexpected place that reminded us of His faithful provisions in all things, whether it was a financial need, people to partner with, or to pass accreditation.
The retreat replenished us in many ways, but the core of the retreat was to give God what He is due, a time of lifting our voices to sing praises to the Lord, hearing from His Word, and personally testifying about how God is actively working in our lives. Burnout is a common occupational phenomenon in the lives of professionals who work with trauma survivors. On the second day of the retreat, the staff discussed the “5 Self-Examination Questions to Prevent Burnout”. This activity fostered vulnerability and allowed the staff to share their reflections on what God has been doing in their lives. This retreat not only strengthened the team as a whole, but it filled them so that they can continue to pour out to the children and families they serve.
As I looked around the place before we left the island, this one thought came into my mind: If the God of the universe can provide for the birds in the air, the fish in the sea, how can He not provide for us humans? Leaving the island, I know all the staff at Restore felt refreshed, renewed, and ready to be used by the Lord for His glory through the work at Restore. He has proven Himself faithful to Restore time and time again – from a seed (the desire to help children drowning in trauma and hopelessness) to a thriving organization; from a small band of people willing to take the risk to do what God asked to partnerships with churches, non-profit organizations, and the Philippines government; and His enduring provision during a global pandemic that placed the whole world at a pause. Looking back, Restore staff could only say that it was God moving at the center of every milestone reached by the organization. I am blessed to be part of an organization that not only desires to help those who are in need but also to bring glory to the name of the Lord, who is truly worthy to receive all praises and thanks.
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth” – Psalm 115:1