I’ve been reading Judges 7 and thinking about Gideon. He was camped out near the Midian enclave with 32,000 men ready to attack but God had another idea. If Gideon won the battle with those overwhelming numbers God knew that Israel would be boastful saying “My own power has delivered me.” God stripped them down from 32,000 to just 300 men who decimated the Midians with a torch in their left hand and a trumpet in their right. When the battle was over the glory went to God, not to Gideon and not to the Israelites.
In the beginning of 2015, unCUFFED’s founder was leading the ministry; we had a full board, good funding, and 5 people working out of our office in Hunt Valley. We served in the Baltimore County Detention Center and did good work with a small group of volunteers. Still, there was a restlessness, a desire to expand, to move forward, to serve more incarcerated kids. In our minds, we were ready to go.
Within the next 9 months, our founder had stepped down to focus on his full time job, Three other staff members left, we were asked to vacate our office space, we lost a Board member & a key, hard working volunteer. On top of that our funding was drying up. Had God removed our blessing? Was His plan to fold our ministry?
No, I believe that God paired us down so that we could see that His power is made perfect in weakness. Like Nehemiah, Kim and I began to rebuild the ministry in His strength not our own. In 2017, we are now serving in 4 facilities with 3 more on the horizon, we will work with more than 300 youths this year, we have been revitalized by a new group of young, diverse, Jesus loving volunteers, and we are stable financially. We even have a small office space again!
We waited on Him and He provided. I believe that this going to be a great year for unCUFFED but we proceed humbly, in His strength, with our Bibles (torches) in our left hand and our message (trumpets) of advocacy, awareness and hope in our right. – John