Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a new way in the desert and streams in the wasteland Isaiah 43:18-19
There was a time I thought talking about my past would help others deal with issues they may be facing. However, the Lord has told me, to take this in a new direction.
One of the duties of Christians, is to build one another up. This has always been the idea behind the ministry of Eagle Wings Ministry International.
For the last eight years our family has been working with Eagle Wings Ministry International here in the Northern-Western Samar Conference of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines.
In 2002 Eagle Wings Ministry International began to work with single parent families, and after school programs in various communities.
Actually around 1977-1978 I met a young girl by the name of Jenny at church camp. We became close friends, and actually throughout our life, we have been like brother and sister.
Her father was a substitute teacher, and also a Sr. Master Sergeant, in the United States Air Force. For about thirty years, I have been like an adopted family member of this family. I was invited to most family outings, usually for Christmas and Easter. As a matter of fact, for most of those years Jenny and I decorated the family Christmas tree together, and we had to place every ornament that Jenny made on the tree.
Jenny would eventually marry, and they would and they would live in various places, at one point they were living in Pennsylvania. Her husband attained a job at an university library and if this job would work out, Jenny and her family would have been set for life.
Due to some very bad decisions by her husband, her life became entangled in betrayal, deceit and lies. It will not benefit us to discuss this any further, but to show that God is faithful, we needed to mention this part. Jenny had no control on what had happened and she would have to rely upon God in ways that she never had to before, and it had strengthened her relationship with God, and others.
In 2002 our lives would once again be united, while our presence with each other was not always constant, it was always consistent, due to modern day technology.
The decision was made for her and her girls to move back into Indiana where her parents lived, and it would be here God was preparing me for a new ministry but with a twist.
Jenny had two girls, Amanda was the oldest, but had the most difficulty with this move. She was very intelligent, a honor roll student, an avid reader, writer, and was an expert with a computer. She could write and speak in eight different languages including Japanese and Chinese. This later would be the tool God would use to give Amanda and me rapport with each other. Amanda was also an excellent artist but due to the decisions of her father, it really affected her in a bad way for the rest of her life.
Hayley was an elementary student, smart, but very bashful, but her and I had rapport from the very start but she would not talk much. She was the outgoing of the two girls, she loved riding her bike, going to the park, skateboarding, among other outdoor activities.
Jenny was busy remodeling their house, and due to the paint, Amanda was not able to stay in the house at this time. They would live with their grandparents until the remodeling was close enough for them to move in.
At the same time Jenny was trying to juggle her assignments as a substitute teacher, which the income was good, but the assignments were not consistent. She was forced to find other work.
I had mentioned to her about Eagle Wings Ministry International and asked her to come on board as a supervisor, as I felt I need some kind of accountability. She agreed, and I was going through some state approved job training, and the job coordinator agreed that this would be a great way for me to get practical experience, although it would be a volunteer service. This is how Eagle Wings Ministry (International would be added later on, this will be explained later).
My responsibilities would be to be at the house before the girls got home, I would be responsible for helping Hayley with home work assignments, preparing food, which I was not always the best cook, fortunately Jenny could correct many of my mistakes. And let’s just say Macaroni and Cheese was not my favorite dish to cook, and it was the favorite of Hayley.
Fortunately, Hayley liked Hot dogs and that was something even I could do. I also could do Tacos, and other things. Jenny just did not want the girls to be by their selves. The girls were able to do most things by themselves, which freed me up to do other things, and so normally I would just have to check on them, while doing other tasks that was given me to do.
Jenny could not afford to pay for my services and I had come up with a Scripture from the Bible; it is found in Matthew 10:8:
As you have freely received, freely give.
This became an objective in the ministry Christ had entrusted to me. God would later increase my borders in ways none of us saw coming.
This ministry would help others in the community as I was working with after school programs, mowing lawns, raking leaves, shoveling snow, washing and waxing cars for single families and the elderly or just to help others, I realized that ministry would be a big part of my life, I just never realized how big.
I did these things in order that someone’s life would be a little brighter, I would talk to the lonely and do what I could.
This blog is dedicated to the memory of Amanda (Mandy) L. Studdard on June 3,2010 she lost the struggle of life, and the Lord called her home. This is why I have dedicated my life in helping youth and campus ministry students, that they would come to know the plans God has for them.
I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm, to give you a future with hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
Amanda was the one girl I wanted to reach for the Lord, but all I can do now, is to entrust her to the Lord, but most of her life, she considered me her youth pastor. All I can say is that God truly understands all of us!
Through earlier years Amanda and I would be able to help each other, as in 2006 I met a Filipino woman named, Eden and she would forever change my life, by Hayley and Amanda would be a big help to me.
As a closing note: our young people and families are under attack, and they face temptations and dangers that was not present in my generation. We need to keep our children and families under the covenant of prayer and this blog is now becoming a ministry tool to reach others.
Again I have given enough information how Eagle Wings Ministry International got started and I cannot go into further details as this will be covered in a book that Jenny is writing. Just know God does work in ways that we never see coming, but in ways that will help all of us to mature and grow in the grace of God!