I was on my own for two years.
I was on my own for two years with a considerable task. I had started a new mission site in Pittsburgh with my mission partner. Unfortunately, that partnership did not work out, and after she left, I was given the task of not only helping this mission survive but also helping it flourish.
I knew that this task was impossible. I begrudgingly accepted it and told God that if any of this was going to be successful, it would have to be due to Him. If He wanted it, I would let Him work through me. I couldn’t do it on my own but knew “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
Not only did I need God to take control of the mission, but I also needed adult volunteers. You didn’t think I could handle a room full of some of the toughest teens in the country by myself, did you?
After great difficulty advertising, recruiting, and being rejected, I finally wound up with a rough and tumble group of volunteers (including my wonderful wife) to help me minister to the lost and forgotten teens of Pittsburgh. Somehow, last Spring we held our first full semester of outreach nights. I could not have done it on my own.
One could say that I was “patient” ... unless you were my boss who I was calling on a weekly basis to ask if she had found me a new partner. I was patient in that I accepted my situation in the ministry and I shrugged my shoulders. I tried to be faithful to the work God asked me to do. God is ultimately more faithful than I could ever be and he honored that patient work.
This year Dirty Vagabond Ministries hired four new Pittsburgh employees. We hired three new missionaries for the Pittsburgh area and our new Director of Advancement, along with a new Missionary Director based out of Steubenville.
I finally have a partner! Her name is Milan, and she is the best. We can do so much more for our teens. Not only that, but I also have two other missionaries for support and community just fifteen minutes away at a new mission site in Sharpsburg, PA. And, on top of all that, I have a great new boss- Andy Lesnefsky! He is handsome, wise, and funny, and he is the best boss I could ever imagine! (All joking aside, he has been an enormous source of support.)
After two years of absolute struggle and loneliness in this mission, God rewarded me with a great community to help and support me. I keep reminding the new missionaries how blessed they are to have joined the mission during this exciting time of growth. God is doing big things here in Pittsburgh amid a new community of missionaries. I feel so blessed to see how God has rewarded the “yes” of every DVM employee during their tough times. God rewards faithfulness.
Please pray for us. Pray that we will remain faithful to God’s calling. And please pray that we will remain faithful to the teens everyone else has given up on. God bless you!