As I near the end of my time at Jubilee, I’ve been reflecting back on the many blessings I’ve received over my years here. I have felt God’s hand teaching me and moving to shape my life in new ways. I pray that I have been able to listen and be faithful to the things that God has asked. Some of those blessings include:

1) A greater sense of the connectedness of the body of Christ. We are blessed at Jubilee to have many people and churches express compassion and generosity for the people we serve in a variety of ways. Many of you have shared your love for our folks through special projects, donations and prayers. It has been truly inspiring!

2) A deeper understanding of God’s faithfulness. As the Director, there have been times when I really felt the pressure of the needs (financial or otherwise) of Jubilee. God has never failed to provide, sometimes in interesting ways. However, how God provided was through the faithfulness of many of you. You listened when He gave you a nudge and I am forever grateful for your faithfulness.

3) A different perspective on life. Living in an area with such poverty has given me a different perspective on necessities and has opened my heart to a new understanding of what it means to live in real poverty in an area where there are few resources to get out of the cycle. It is always a blessing to be able to understand some of the struggles and challenges of our brothers and sisters.

I’ve received many more blessings, including working with a committed and gifted staff, workers through the Senior Program and Americorps, and the volunteers that have come or brought donations. Every one of you has enriched my life!

Now my final blessing here is that God has provided another Church and Community Worker (CCW) missionary to follow me as Executive Director, so I can leave with a sense of peace that He has provided someone with the right gifts and experience to lead Jubilee in its next steps. Her name is Lisa Nichols and she will take the reins on July 8.

Lisa has been a CCW for 36 years serving most recently as the Executive Director of Henry Fork Service Center in Rocky Mount, VA for 10 years. Some of you may recognize her from her years serving in Chattanooga at Saint Elmo Alton Park partners, St. Elmo UMC and St. Andrews Center. Others might recognize her from her years growing up in the Holston Conference. Her father, Rev. Sullins Lamb, served for 40 years in Holston. Her other service stretches to North Carolina, Alabama and Missouri.

At Jubilee, we are all excited to welcome her to this new chapter in her life, knowing that God has many blessings in store for her as well. Thank you to all of you for being part of my life and helping me to grow in Christ.

(Readers may visit the Jubilee Project at 197 Jockey Street, Sneedville, or by calling 423-733-4195.)