In Lead more gently/ Purpose

The burden of my job

I have recently returned to work after a much needed vacation.  During this week I have prayerfully considered the burden of my job.

Many people donate to Orchard: Africa.  Some give sacrificially and others give out of their abundance.  It does not matter to me which.  What does matter is the trust that they place in the organization with their donation.  Each person who gives trusts that the money they give will make a difference in the life of a vulnerable person in Africa – a child, a person dying of AIDS, a young pastor caring for his community.   This giving places a burden on me that I wrestle with daily.

This then is my burden:

I earn a salary to serve the vulnerable in Africa.  Part of my job is to be their voice.  I receive many invitations to various ministry and non-profit networking functions, lunches, dinners, meetings.  When these invitations come I scrutinize them carefully and I remind myself that I am paid, not to be a lobbyist or a networker for a greater cause.  I do not earn a salary to further my own career in ministry or the non-profit sector.    I do not even earn a salary to serve all the children in Africa who live outside of my influence, or outside my calling.  I earn a salary to serve the vulnerable people for whom the donation was made. Every day I weigh my burden and ask,  “Have I made a difference in their lives today?” 

Did I speak well on behalf of the children whose faces are familiar, whose names I know, whose little shack houses I have been in, whose mothers I have seen die?  Am I speaking well on their behalf?  Do I present the case of the rural pastors we serve as best I know how?  Do other organizations speak better than me on behalf of their charges?  If so, how do I improve and serve my constituency better?   I do not judge myself by whether I speak well on behalf of all orphan children in Africa, or for the greater cause, because I do not work for all orphan children in Africa or for the greater cause.  I work for the children and the vulnerable people that our donors have given money to help, the very ones God has called Orchard: Africa to serve.  The weight of the burden I carry is in whether I served well on behalf of this distinct group of vulnerable people. 

I am honor bound to loyally serve who pays me.  I believe God requires this of me, just as He requires of others to serve who pays them.  If I earn a salary from Orchard: Africa, then with diligence, with fervent zeal, with a passion as if my own life depends on it, I speak loyally on behalf of Orchard: Africa and I do so with much joy.

Jesus said that His burden is light and His yoke is easy and to this I can attest.  He is the joy of my salvation and daily I seek rest in Him.  However, I do believe that the load He gives each one of us to carry is skillfully crafted and intricately delicate and should be carried with utmost care.

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