Since the year 2000, Bonnie and I have helped thousands of people deal with or prepare for unresolved conflict or unreconciled loss. I am grateful for the effective ministry of NPC. Even so, after numbering of all the different people with whom we have walked, I am convinced the most important number is the number one, i.e one person. First, here are all the number "ones" since 2000:
Grief/Pastoral Counseling or Coaching: Over 70 people helped.
Community Mediations or Facilitations: Over 80 people served.
Family, Marriage, Workplace, or Business Mediations: Over 95 people served.
Church Mediations or Facilitations: Over 200 people served directly and over 2700 served indirectly working with 18 different churches in the states of Washington, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and throughout Northern California.
Trainings, Conferences, Workshops, and Retreats in conflict resolution or grief caregiving: Certainly hundreds if not thousands of people equipped to be better prepared to constructively deal with conflict, grief and brokenness.
Overseas teaching/missions trips: Twice to Democratic Republic of Congo and five trips to the Philippines teaching at churches, Bible schools, and seminaries.
Coordinated ministry efforts: 17 other ministries or agencies.
Church-based VORP mediation centers: Gratefully, 8 working for Restorative Justice.
The Redemptive City Project: Many small steps and little doses.
But back to the number one. Eric (not his real name), several months ago at a stalled mediation meeting with his family, left the meeting very angry and filled with hate. That one day he told his mother, "I hate you!" And he told me, "I will not come back here!" That was one very sad day. But another day came. This one day was different when he came to visit in my office. His heart was softer and he was more teachable. Eric was at a point of redemptive change. What a day! Eric is a very important one as all of the "ones" are with whom we have had the redemptive opportunity to serve.
Remember the 99 and the one! Remember God's mercies are new every day! Remember the redeemed Erics! What an awesome ministry to be able to take back what belongs to God. That is what the ministry of reconciliation is all about. And God gave this ministry to the church!
Let's go rob the house of darkness for just one more, and then another one. Agree?