The Birthing Process
In September 2017, the NBA Incubate Initiative hosted the 2017 SENT Seminar: Equipping Social ENTrepreneurs for Leadership and Change, in Leavenworth, Kansas. Designed for Disciples and their leadership teams who are starting new health and social services ministries, the SENT Seminar covers the basics of nonprofit ministry startups, as well as skills for leadership and change in our global and faith communities. Yvonne McCoy, Oasis Retreat and Wellness Center, attended as a 2017 SENT Seminar Participant and shares this reflection.
When God drops a vision into your spirit, it might take some time for it to come to fruition. In the meantime, we have a responsibility to trust God to bring it to pass in His own time.
In 2008, I was impressed by God to create a unique sanctuary for women, who are abused and traumatized, to experience healing and transformation. The activities performed in this “Holy Place” will improve the quality of lives and empower women to thrive within the community. This will be achieved by utilizing the Holistic Healing concept of nurturing the whole person, mind, body, soul and spirit.
Immediately, I began to look for a location. When I found the ideal place, I set a date, reserved the facility, made a US $1,000.00 deposit, and began to advertise. I got no participants, had to cancel the facility, and lost my deposit. I was sure that I had followed the leading of the Holy Spirit. I asked the Lord why the venture had failed. God responded in one word: “timing.”
For the next seven years I chased the vision, while continuing to practice and grow in my holistic healing vocation. Eventually, I became tired and frustrated. I questioned if I had pursued this on my own.
In 2015, I met a person at a conference with the same vision, and thought the dream had been revived. We set a date to meet. The date came and went, and no word at all!
I felt defeated and wanted to give up. I told myself all the reasons why I could not move forward. The primary reason: I was too old and had run out of energy. I didn’t have the strength to continue the mission.
Two years after that encounter, I received a call from a clergy friend who was present at the General Assembly. She knew of my vision and shared with me an overview of the presentation made by the NBA for the SENT Seminar. I felt the excitement in my belly and knew the dream was still alive. I applied, was accepted, and attended the Seminar. The transformation experienced after the first day was phenomenal. Yet, I was fearful of becoming too engaged and again experiencing disappointment. I heard God say, “Trust Me – now is the time”!
I was so encouraged by the retreat leaders and the other SENT participants. Finally, I felt like I was a part of a supportive community and not all alone. I experienced the labor pains and knew it was time to give birth. I had been pregnant for nine years and was now ready to bring forth the child. Midwives were in place to assist me in the birthing process. Resources were available to help me grow up the child.
God’s timing is impeccable! Wait, I say on the Lord! They that wait on the Lord, shall renew their strength!
Thank you, NBA, for being instrumental in the birthing and growing of the “Oasis Retreat and Wellness Center!”
The NBA incubates new ministries, supporting social entrepreneurs of faith who are serving their communities in a variety of innovative ways and empowering these Disciples-led health and social service projects to focus on growth, impact, and sustainability. Learn more at nbacares.org/incubate or by contacting Rev. Ayanna Johnson Watkins, Director of the NBA Incubate Initiative, at email@example.com.