A few weeks ago I had a heart attack. They put in five stents because of significant blockage. I spent a few days in the hospital and went home to embark on a new lifestyle. I exercise every day and am very careful about my diet. Because I am diabetic, the need for controlled intake is doubly important. I am super blessed to have understanding staff at CSC, a loving wife who takes good care of me, and health insurance that will pay for much of the medical bills associated with my surgery, hospitalization, therapy and medications.
In addition to exercise and diet, I have been advised to try and identify areas of stress in my life and work to lessen them. The past year has been very stressful at CSC with lots of personnel and program changes and some difficult situations to handle. There is no way to eliminate stress in my job, with the responsibilities of overseeing a ministry that employs 135 people and provides care for 80 children. But I can say that, in the midst of changes and challenges, God has provided some significant "de-stressers" for me through the people on our Leadership Team. They help manage the challenges and absorb a lot of the stress that would otherwise come my way. For example:
Eldie, who directs our new Human Resources department, takes on issues relating to managing our employees. He handles problems and policies. When we recently had to terminate an employee, he handled it. We discussed it and came to the decision together, but he was the one to implement it. Ging, our Financial Director, manages our funds. This is budget preparation season and she has handled much of the work of gathering the information and working with the staff on the preparation of the various departmental budgets. Klaris, our Social Work Director just got back from a quick trip to Manila for pre-matching one of our children with the Inter-Country Adoption Board. Six months ago I would have had to make that trip and deal with the challenging work of choosing a family with all the complicated procedures and policies of the government for matching. She also does all the editing of child study reports that go to the government for all our kids, again, something I would have been doing a year ago. Jinkee manages the Child Development department, seeing that our kids get the care they need from our house parents, child care workers and therapists. Marlys heads up the medical team of four nurses, making sure the children get the medical care they require. Ben and Cris are at the reins of Children of Hope School, managing the teachers and curriculum so ably and professionally. Although I am responsible for the care our children receive, our relationship to the government, and our financial and human resource management, I don't need to worry about the details of the work being done by these fine people and their teams. They handle problems and challenges, spreading around the potential stress that I need to minimize.
Our generous supporters are also de-stressers. This is crunch time at CSC. We need to raise a lot of money in November and December to meet our income needs for the year. We watch the daily mail counts carefully and prayerfully. Admittedly, we worry a little at this time of year! But much of that is alleviated by the knowledge that our supporters always come through in big ways. Our hope for year-end 2017 is based on the awesome provision of our God through our supporters every years since 1979. That's 38 years of faithfulness! God's admonition for us in Philippians 4:6-7 not to "worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." Not only is it important to show our faith and appreciation to God for what He has done, we will avoid stress as we "experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. " Truly His peace will "guard our hearts and minds as we live in Christ Jesus."
Thanks for your important role at CSC for the children, first of all, but for those of us who lead this ministry as well.