Philip Fischer Profile
Article by Philip Fischer
Volunteer Coordinator

Last summer, I was the Volunteer Coordinator at Gateway Woods. I learned many things, more than you could fit in this article, but I will try to let you in on some central themes. Beginning with the end:

In my role of ministry to the residents, I was able to lead the guy residents in a weekly Bible Study. Meeting them where they were, I lead them through some basic apologetics. The reliability of the Bible, present evidence for the existence of God, as well as some basic principles that are taught in scripture. It was good for me to learn about the topics, but the larger lessons were learned from their reactions to the material. There were a few who were consistently resistant to what I would try to say. It came to the point that some said it would take a vision or physical manifestation of Christ for them to believe. I was reminded of the parable of the rich man in Luke 16 “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” This revealed to me, that even with all my exposition of the Gospel, it is a miraculous work of God that is needed to bring these ones to Him. I thanked God for His work in me and realized just how hard a task the staff at Gateway has. "This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer." (Mark 9:29) The work of the Church is missions. The work of missions is prayer.

The annual Auction was a culmination of the summer in many ways. It seemed that everything built to that climax. Being close to the center of the storm, I learned just how many people it takes to put the Auction together. From the committee, which meets year round to ensure everything is organized, to the churches and individuals who donate money and auction items, to the many people who give a wealth of time and resources to put it all together. From tables and chairs being set up, electrical and multimedia elements, food prepared and served, items organized, presented and sold, the conglomeration was far too much for one person to comprehend. It was in these times that I became very proud of what the Church was capable of. People from across the country were united to complete the common goal of seeing the sale come about. Individuals filled the needs that they could without needing recognition or reward. The thing is, Gateway operates this way year-round. They rely on individuals and churches to intercede, to fill in the gaps that they cannot fill on their own. Throughout my summer as the Volunteer Coordinator, I realized just how much we need “the body” to work in tandem to accomplish the mission.

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." Galatians 6:9-10

The task of reaching the children and families that Gateway Woods works with is a mammoth undertaking. They rely on the Church body giving financially, volunteering, and laboring in prayer for them to operate. At times I went through incredibly difficult times while at Gateway. I was feeling discouraged, not seeing any indication that my effort was going to do any good, when I read from Galatians 6. I was encouraged by the thought that even if I don’t see any obvious results in this lifetime, my reward is in Heaven. If there is anything I have learned in my life, it is that God does not lie. Let’s believe in His promises as we complete the work He has for us to do.

Philip was the 2014 Volunteer Coordinator and 2015 Top Quality Manager at Gateway Woods.