While preparing our annual report of over 50 completed projects in 2010, we shared a few thoughts with a close friend and partner in the ministry. For one or another reason, our impression has been that things appear to be moving slower than expected while working with the Bulgarian Church of God in the context of some 40 various denominations in the period 2005-2010.
Our efforts in the ministry have contributed to several major developments like a ministry center in the capital Sofia, the start of a national Sunday school program and a master’s program in chaplaincy, the international X Youth Event, national youth ministry Bible camp and the Leadership Training Seminar (LTS) to mention a few. But this success in ministry has not been without many painful and exhausting days and nights of praying, planning, organizing, gathering the needed resources and trying to stay away from destructive politics and man-made divisions.
So it was not until the last quarter of 2010 that our efforts began reshaping the reality around us as we quickly realized the long-term projects had finally come to completion. As a result, just during the last three months in Bulgaria, we brought to finishing point major goals of our ministry and completed work which generally would have taken us a year time. And it was awesomely encouraging as we watched goal after goal being completed literally over night.
Our friend listened closely to this great testimony of the ministry and quickly compared it to the story of the bamboo. The strongest and fastest growing wood on the planet does not grow 20 inches over night without several years of long preparation. During this time, the roots spread rapidly in the soil clamping together in a strong underground system that will serve as the foundation to the future plant. They remain unseen under the surface until the day the first spurs shoot out of the ground.
2011 will be the year during which ministries with global vision that have worked hard and long for years, following Spirit led investing of time, efforts in resources in projects and goals that seem unreasonable, unnecessary and foolish to others, will see the spurs of their efforts shooting out of the ground over night. And then, no one will be laughing at the vision any longer.
For others, it will be a wonder, but these ministries will know that many years of hard labor and efforts have finally brought long waited results. For the only way to have a fast growing strong ministry is to take the time for preparation. 2011 calls for an end of preparation and a time of new growth.