HQ Annual Meeting Director 2014 Report February 11, 2015
Our little ministry was founded upon a Kingdom call to help people develop based on Kingdom truth. We have been teaching that truth through stories, scripture, classes, and our actions for nearly four decades. Many of you have impacted others in ways that reflect a Samaritan life of living and loving. A Samaritan lives a life poured out with compassion; compassion that burns hot enough to ask the hard questions, bold enough to correct untruth, loving enough to give tough assignments. It is not a warm and fuzzy, surface compassion, but a much more active love. Our ministries are not about superstars, but rather everyday people who’ve committed to engage. Engagements that blend together and yield the powerful testimonies from people who will say, “GSM saved my life”, “I feel loved here”, “My marriage was restored”, and more.
I would like to thank everyone for coming tonight and for the dedication of all volunteers, satellite leaders, center directors, leaders, and our Board of Directors. Satellite leaders, please stand. Office volunteers and teachers please stand. Volunteer Counselors please stand. Let’s give them a hand! You have served, and are all living a life of service and sacrifice. Let us also take a moment to acknowledge the passing and graduation to heaven of Ted Baker, and most recently, Jerry Mitchell. These men of God have gone on to make heaven a better place, and to intercede for those of us still here walking the Samaritan Path.
2014 – Year of Movement and Shift
In 2014 GSM had the opportunity for renovating and moving our the business offices. It was not easy and definitely took a village. Thanks to the many people who helped us move the little things, and the big things. The move took place in a nearly seamless fashion with only a few days of operational interruption. Finding balance in a new space is not always easy and I want to thank our counselors for putting up with the inconveniences and the heating HVAC issues. You have done well, and I knew we could do it together.
Moving back to our volunteer counseling roots has gone smoothly, yet our overall capacity and counseling hours have come down with our available volunteers. This year our counseling crew went from around 30 to about 18 counselors when we suspended our graduate licensure supervision internship program. Some of our counselors picked up more hours, others needed to adjust client appointments down due to family and life issues. Even so, this year we still provided over 4100 total counseling hours on a donation basis. Kathy Lane continues to work hard in the office as a trainer, teacher, and counselor. She has many people in counselor training, and this year three Samaritan counselors graduated. Two of them volunteer here in the Beaverton office – Rick Collins, and Molly Luoto; and Megan Mowry also graduated in 2014.
Finances have always been a struggle for this donation-supported organization. We continue to work towards moving GSM into a balanced fiscal budget. We enjoyed strong improvement in 2014 cutting our annual deficit by nearly 50% in 2014. And, our long term financial picture remains strong. Few ministries have developed such a dedicated group of donor partners with the ability to invest in the future. Our strong foundation and long term potential allows us to move with God, and follow His path forward.
This year we intend to provide important, NEW training for estate and legacy planning. We have an aging support base so we want to help Samaritans navigate and prepare everything from medical forms, to wills, to asset protection. GSM already has its first Your Will – His Will event planned for April 22nd at 6:00pm. EVERYONE should attend and bring their spouse or a friend along.
2014 – A Year of Change
The GSM office has had some recent staff changes with both Samantha and Karen transitioning into what God has next for them. Sam and Karen both worked hard to keep the office atmosphere strong, efficient and pleasant. They are both loved, are still Samaritans and following Jesus. I would like to introduce to you our newest staff member, Susann Christensen. She is a spirit led and filled follower of Jesus who recently us as a Data Administrator and Bookkeeper. Susann has already been learning the ropes well and continues to work with Sammy as needed. We have also enjoyed having some strong volunteer support at the front desk and Jeanette has been training Kathy Phelps and Peggy Gordon at the front desk. Please be sure to make everyone appreciated for their service and be sure to introduce yourselves if you have not already.
Now let me emphasize yet again, the importance of prayer and intercession here at GSM. There is an expanding need for PRAYFULLY covering this ministry. We know prayer works and we must continue to not just learn and grow personally, but to increase our intimacy with Jesus and to hear from the Lord. We are about our Father’s business, we are impacting nations, we are bringing light into the darkness of people’s lives, we must be a people of prayer. We can all become more intimate and focused on prayer. Our assignment for 2015, let’s get back on our knees and stay there. We need to PUSH for things to move here and in the nations. Every First Saturday night and Wednesday afternoon you can come prayer right here with and for the Ministries.
This year we set aside three days for prayer and fasting beyond monthly, weekly prayer, and our International day of prayer and fasting. The nations joined us as we prayed together against fear, against disease, and FOR healing and peace. We did this through “prayer agreement”. I believe if we simply AGREE as a ministry with God, His promises, His word, and His Kingdom truths, we can partner with Him to expand his Kingdom here on earth. Healing, revival, and spiritual growth are all available to us this year. Can you join us this year and partner in 2015 as a year of agreement prayer!? Who will commit to praying for nations without a Satellite? Who will commit to becoming a part of our prayer team? Who will commit to pray and intercede for the Beaverton HQ office?
What Makes GSM Unique‽
GSM is about expanding God’s Kingdom which means helping people develop. Developing personally so we can develop others. We look to see personal potential, empowering purpose, and new passion grow through our counseling and training. The world can, and WILL change as people develop on a core, gut level. The world is calling people to live and remain on the surface. The evil in this world wants us to know each other and God on a surface level. He wants our relationships with others to be comfy and surface only. Satan loves “Surface sailing Christians”. What I mean by that we often build a boat to navigate life on our own terms, never realizing Jesus is calling us out of our boat and into deeper, living waters. Good Samaritan ministries is not a surface organization. We are in the trenches of the world loving and supporting people during hard “life callings”, tough assignments, and wise words that are sometimes bitter and jagged. Yet, how many would agree that our Lord did not say our path would or should be EASY?! GSM works to develop the WHOLE entire PERSON into being a WHOLE complete PERSON IN CHRIST. Our unique love of people, in a non-judgmental posture should drive us boldly forward. Bolding speaking truth in love, boldly inviting people to engage, boldly seeking BIG things from God, and boldly proclaiming the Kingdom of God – for IT IS AT HAND.
Inviting people into a supporting or volunteer role for the ministries requires boldness fueled by passion. When our passion is rooted in Jesus and who he is in us, He will lead us to do amazing things, acts of service or tell the stories we actually would never think ourselves capable of. What has God done in your life that you could share with others? What are you passionate about? Your STORIES are a Good Samaritan Ministries invitation. Be bold!
Connecting people to GSM happens on a gut level when they connect with our international and satellite work. Short term missions and training trips remain a key point of connection for new Samaritans. Let us consider if, how and when to maintain our international connection and support. Our annual report notes the many teams who visited foreign GSM ministry locations. We will expand those efforts in 2015 and expand the number of new people on those trips.
In 2014 approx 7700 children received the gift of education (reports coming in). Micro lending through MEF, Widows and Orphans, and International Educations funding provided for community gardens, beds, desks, computers, medical needs and more while funding to assist communities, families, and children in a “globally local” fashion. Over a dozen Satellites addressed many emergencies and executed on several significant projects:
New micro business loans to dozens of families and individuals
A new roof for a school in Zambia
Bathrooms, floor repairs, food, and supplies for dozens of schools throughout Africa, India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.
The new chicken hatchery and farm in Kenya is off to a great start.
The International Education Satellite alone provided the follow summary of 2014 projects:
10 Double Decker Beds for GSM Masaka School dormitory students in Uganda
10 New Sewing Machines for orphans in Cameroon
Computers for students in Africa
Blackboards, desks, books, school supplies, plates, cups for tragically orphaned Sri Lankan kids
Plastered walls of 2 classrooms, Dirk Allison HS in Uranga, Kenya
Monthly support to GSM Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon, Liberia
How We Measure Success and Effectiveness in 2014?
Anyone who wants to take the time can measure our ministry effectiveness within our annual report, see it on our website, and even witness results simply in the services we are providing. However, the truth is, as director, the words and the testimonies of the people we serve define this humble ministry. Our success was found in our ability to hear what God is saying, be obedient, and move with Him. GSM has never been about size, but rather about the love, faith, and hope we share with others. We aim to see and hear about personal growth and community impact, not the size of our ministries or the number of countries we are operating in. We are engaged in this world, but remain OF the King and his Kingdom.
One clear area for continued prayer and focus is our need and desire for Youth leadership. I believe that The Lord will be bringing “the called” into this ministry, but it is up to us to empower and connect with them. Let us prayerfully agree this year that God will lead us in this critical area. It is HUGE when you consider the potential and reach for future Samaritans. I for one am not getting any younger.
When you think of GSM, think of peacemakers, teachers, and Kingdom field workers. Think about the sacrifices being made in and through this ministry for others. This past year, at the annual banquet our theme was “Do your words‽..” This offered everyone a great question AND a strong assignment. Do our words give life, do they heal, do they cause harm, do our words lead to actions? Do we do our own words? Many of us need to be reminded at times to “DO YOUR WORDS!” That can be a hard assignment. The Lord has spoken words over us, he has a destiny for us unique to our potential and purpose(s). We cannot DO anything well without drive and passion behind it. Therefore, may none of us find ourselves on the surface. May we find comfort in Jesus alone and jump out of our boats when the calmness of the sea becomes too comfortable. May we live radical, energetic, sacrificial lives on the edge of being appropriate, and dare to stand up against things mundane and routine in our walk with Jesus. MAY WE BE A MINISTRY OF PRAYER and align with the very plans and heart of our Father. Then may we give him praise and glory because He is with us and He is worthy of all praise.
14 “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
2015 – a year of opportunity
As 2015 begins to take off, let us keep our eye on the root-strength of GSM and the path forward. It is important for all of us to establish and hold new relationships within our spheres of influence. As we continue to pray for the ministry and the needs of those seeking support, we should never tire of doing good for our King and the call of His Kingdom. It’s not about the speed we move, but that we stand firm and remain obedient through faith in Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. Let us have eyes to see what he is doing and ears to hear what the Lord is saying. If we can keep falling forward, continue to be poured out, and remain willing to go an extra mile… or two, we will see the miraculous.
This coming year we will prayerfully accomplish the following:
LOCALLY, GSM Will:
1. Empower additional Volunteers with an eye towards youth – BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
2. 3 to 5 Volunteer Counselors in the local office in Beaverton to serve the PDX community
3. Several Volunteer Champions for events, projects, communications and more.
- Family Camp Leader and a Family Camp Admin
- Good Friday Event Planner
- Annual Banquet team leader
- Board Committee members
2. Expand Beaverton Training collaboration.
- New, Fresh relevant topics for training and personal development
- Increased Core Counselor and Samarian training classes – HQ and Eastern OR/WA
3. Increased Development activities and community exposure
- Grant Writing and Mission Committee presentations
- Church and ministry connections expanded
- Donor Partner Relationship development – Dinners, small gatherings and events.
INTERNATIONALLY, GSM Will:
1. Increase Satellite leadership
- Prayer, worship, intercession nights encouraging new involvement
- Countries without Satellites become covered through prayer and/or NEW leadership.
2. Promote international Missions and Visions for the future
- Mission project exposure and wider involvement
- Expanding communication regarding Int’l Leader visions and US “dreaming partnerships.”
3. Evaluate new/ongoing sustainable projects
- Determine the strongest possible projects to support – launch one or more in 2015.
- Connect with local, region, and national leaders to collaborate with GSM
The full HQ 2014 Annual Report is posted to our website on the About Page. International Reports are still coming in. Looking ahead to 2015 and beyond, my desire is that you will be compelled through the Holy Spirit to be even bolder during the coming year through the passions within you, and with those around you. Each year Jesus calls us forward into our unique Kingdom purposes. Let’s all agree that God has more for us personally and as a ministry, and the only question remaining is “will we be willing to receive the things God has for us?” Will will stand on and agree with His promises? Let us say yes Lord, more Lord, come Lord Jesus… empower us and use us Holy Spirit. AMEN!
… because of Jesus,