Yesterday I felt ill and so I was in bed at 5pm. I awoke at 5am. That is 12 hours and for someone like me who averages LESS than 5 hours of sleep per night that is a load. So although I was feeling poorly I slept the sleep of PEACE for the first time in many years.
I am waiting to begin another new church. This will be in Paneya where we have the land already. $5,000 only can build a church for that community. Pray about it!!!
I am nearing my 72nd birthday. I still feel strong and healthy although my back is weak. But my mind for many years has been on “Who can succeed me at Casa?” I do not want to die and there be confusion over who. Moses gave his ministry to Joshua. Elijah gave his ministry to Elisha. Jesus gave His ministry to the Apostles. But Who am I to hand this ministry to?
As I have prayed, fasted, cried and worried, yes, worried it has been the source of 20 years of little sleep. Walter has been such a wonderful and godly administrator. When he came 8 years ago I asked him to fill in for one month–that became 3 months–eventually he took the job. We spoke then that 5 years in that position was so stressful no one could do it longer. Walter has carried Casa for 8 years. He is worn down to a frazzle. His recent accident could have been deadly.
When I came to Guatemala in 1989 and began Casa my goal was to have 25 children. The Lord spoke to me then as I carried 3 two-year olds on my daily walk that someday Casa would be in the hands of the children whom God had sent to Casa and had a heart for ministry.
It is 26 years later and it is time. I wept for days seeking His will and God brought me to Hebrews 12:1-2 which states that Luke ran his race with persistence keeping his eyes on Jesus. The race!! My race!!
I ran track in high school and college. I could not run a mile or a marathon or even a 1/2 mile. But I could sprint! I ran the 100, the 200 and the relays. And it was the relay the Lord was telling me to run. You see there is no way a relay team can win if they do not hand off the baton smoothly. The transition of the baton around the course is what brings victory. Not the individual runner! Only one runner breaks the tape but he can only do that with a smooth hand off from runner to runner.
Oh Lord! Who? God spoke to me in Lake Charles, LA. a month ago and said “Mike, get a bucket of batons.” Casa is so large now and has so many facets that no one person could come and be Papi as well as General director, medical director, school administrator, etc.
So today I handed off Baton #1. Billy was raised at Casa and married Olga who was also raised here. They are house parents in Doncillas which is the teenage girl dorm. As of last Friday Billy is administrator of the educational program from kindergarten through high school, all special students who study outside of Casa and the vocational classes taught at Casa in the afternoons. He is absolutely responsible.
Three other changes were made public to the staff and children. Sebastian, intelligent, gentle, willing, has been the finance manager of Casa for years. He was the first of our children to attend college. He has worked side-by-side with Walther for 8 years. At the end of this year Sebastian will take the baton from Walter as General Director and Legal Representative.
To step into Sebastian’s role as finance manager I need a man who is honest, filled with the love of and for God, a man who has proven himself capable. Our 8th child to come to Casa in 1989 was Alex. He is now married and has 4 children. His wife, Sarah, is a godly mother and a strong example to the teenage boys in Buen Pastor where Alex and Sarah are house parents. Alex will receive the baton from Sebastian at the end of this year.
My Board voted that Josue’, our first child, would be the USA face of Casa. He would travel as Dottie and I do to bring the story of Casa to churches, groups, etc.
Walter will continue to be the FACE of Casa here and will work tirelessly to see this transition becomes a reality in December. He and I have run a hard race. We want to finish with “Well done thou good and faithful servant”. Walter is still your contact person as he slowly moves Sebastian into his role.
There are a number of other young people who are to receive a baton. Dottie and I will continue to go to the states with the message and I will continue to be Papi and we will continue in a many other roles but the bottom line is………..
IF I DO NOT LET THEM GET BEHIND THE STEERING WHEEL I DO NOT KNOW IF THEY CAN DRIVE THE CAR.
Within 3 years I want to be only Grand-Papi, still preaching and teaching the children, sharing in the states and watching as this group takes Casa to a higher level.
You can doubt and criticize or you can rejoice and pray! I believe our entire staff feels like we have made a move that will bring Casa to a higher level. You see—each runner runs faster than the runner who handed him the baton.