Monday, November 22, 2010

Sometimes you don't choose your ministry

When I first saw this frighteningly sketchy unfinished school chapel building 2 years ago, I said to a teammate, “wow, I'm sure glad I'm not responsible for that building!”
Now, through a series of events and one change of heart, I find myself the sole design professional responsible for presenting an analysis and course of action to the school board. How did this happen?

The eyesore – I mean, chapel - is on the campus of the neighborhood school, where our son Jonathan attends Kindergarten. EMI came to be involved in this project when our office was recently challenged to be more involved in our community, ministering to the needs of our immediate neighbors rather than heeding only the call of far-flung ministries around East Africa. We took our first step in this direction when we partnered with the local police in the design of a police post down the street from the office.

Originally I let my own pride inhibit me from even considering extending a hand to the school. It's a risky project! Are we willing to own that project and stake our (and my) reputation on it? Thankfully my colleague helped remind me that we aren't doing these projects for ourselves – they're for others. And we're not meant to honor ourselves in them – we're meant to honor our Father. I thank God for that reminder and pray that I can humbly own this chapel project and do my best for Him.


Paul and Karen said...

You're a brave structural engineer to take this on. Keep us informed of your progress. -Paul


Hi Emily and Phil! This is Shanna (Ramey) Burcham! I am so excited to have finally found you! I often think of you and how you influenced my life. I was in Kampala a couple years ago. Were you there then? Oddly enough as I was in Gulu, I observed the area and some issues they were having and thought of how my husband, a civil engineer, could help (he did not go on the trip with me). I had no idea there were actually engineering missionaries! I am so excited! Your work is awesome! How are you? Your family is beautiful! I am on Facebook but I do not have a blog. I hope to hear from you!