Thursday, September 19, 2013

Milestones in Ministry

SUMMER 2013 | Newsletter Email not displaying correctly?
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CCO Logo CCO Ministry of Francois and Joy Guilleux with Experiential Designs

Summer 2013 | Milestones in Ministry

We continue our summer stories with the first installment of stories from Summer Institute, the CCO's yearly training week at Robert Morris University. Francois and Sean Purcell taught a day long class on Situational Leadership for CCO staff completing their first year. This is the same group whom Joy facilitated in June for their end of the year retreat. We were excited for our department to contribute more formally to the CCO's training curriculum.
A much more important event at Summer Institute was the yearly Honoring Banquet where milestones in service are recognized. This year Joy was honored for her 15 years of ministry with the CCO. Like Ebenezer stones for the Israelites, such moments of recognition help us remember God's faithfulness in our lives. We were especially moved by the way God offered for those 15 years to be celebrated. 
Many of you know that Joy's back problems have made it difficult for her to do much adventure activities during these past five years. The result of years of carrying too heavy a backpack while leading students on mountains around the US has taken a severe toll on her body. Yet this spring as a result of the restorative yoga practice of our neighbor and former CCO staff, Katrina Woodworth, Joy began seeing some incredible improvements. Not wanting to get her hopes dashed, she faithfully pursued her exercise regimen as well as continued chiropractic therapy with another strong supporter of our ministry. By mid-spring we were talking as if she could actually be an instructor on the mountaineering staff training we were planning for summer. As the trip approached two other issues needed to be resolved for her to be able to go into the field. One, after six years in the closet, her outdoor gear needed some serious updating; and two, we needed someone to watch Annelise for nine days. The first problem was resolved through the kinds of surprising coincidences that we can only attribute to God's faithfulness. For pennies on the dollar we were able to outfit Joy with the kind of  professional grade gear she needed. The second was overcome when our friends, the Bilchers who now live in Idaho just a couple hours from where our training was going to be held, agreed to watch Annelise while we were both in the field. So Joy found herself laughing and crying at God's numerous gifts (generosity and faithfulness) as she stood at the Trail Lake trail head ready to shoulder her pack and lead the CCO's XD staff into the Wind River Mountains. It had been nine years since she had been to this place as instructor and 17 since she as a student had first encountered this area which would become a place where God would reveal himself powerfully and shape her to minister to college students. 
Stay tuned for stories from our time with 11 CCO staff in Wyoming. Today we ask that you would join us in praising God for his faithfulness over the 15 years of ministry and particularly evident in Joy's life this spring and summer. Whether you recognize it or not, you have also been part of God's faithfulness to our family and ministry. Your prayers and contributions are constant reminders of God's love and faithfulness. Thank you for your commitments over the years.

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