My responsibilities at Helping Up Mission have continued to develop. Now in my 12th year here, I am spending more time teaching and meeting with the men in our Spiritual Recovery Program than any time since I first arrived. Sadly, I have not managed my expanded responsibilities and my Mission blog responsibilities very well in recent days. I have no excuse. The good news is that I have been able to develop relationships with men in the Program, something I really enjoy.
Program Director Tom Bond and Assistant Program Director Kevin Healey now lead administration of all the programs we offer here. As the grand old man of the programs, both of them arrived here on my watch, and it is my joy to see how effectively they use their God-given skills and manage things.
Recently a retired man who volunteers his time here was in my office talking about his life and career and how bored he was in his retirement, He mentioned his bucket list. After listening to him, I said that I should consider my own bucket list – but couldn’t really think of much I would want to put on it.
Then he said that he wasn’t surprised I hadn’t given much thought to my bucket list –because he could see how excited and passionate I was about my job here at Helping Up Mission. He said I was very fortunate to have such a career. Admittedly, he also knows that I do archaeological work in the Holy Land and that it is also a very meaningful part of my life and ministry. But he also knows what I have been saying (and meaning) for years – this is the most important thing I have ever done in my life.
With some 400 men living here every day, something always happens that makes me sad. But for everything that hurts my feelings, there are five things around here that remind me how much good is happening in the lives of so many other guys. I do love my job.
My wife and I have decided to both retire eight in years – that will be 2019. But I admit that I don’t have much of a bucket list for that day. These are the good old days and there really isn’t anything else I can think I would rather be doing now or later. God is good, all the time!
One Year at a Time,
Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director