This summer SPO welcomed Sarah Deak as the newest SPO Ohio staff member as she became our new Development Coordinator. Sarah came to SPO with a background in administration, marketing and online media, but it was her heart for service and openness to God’s call that led her to SPO.As I sit at my desk amid the joyful sounds of the SPO office – the humming and singing of a few co-workers - I cannot help but think “How did I get here?!” Mind you, this is not a “get me out of here!” thought, but a “praise God for bringing me here!” one. Not even six months ago, the name Saint Paul’s Outreach was only a fuzzy compilation of newsletters at my parent’s house and names of people I’d never met; now it’s beautiful new relationships, joyful mission, a daily awareness of God’s presence and, oddly enough, peace.
An outsider may look at daily life in the SPO offices and wonder how “peace” can be the word that comes to my mind – each day is a flurry of errands, meetings, phone calls and other small tasks that, in the end, are a big part of what makes SPO run. Watching the busyness of the office, one may not hear an audible peace or see the peace of stillness, but peace remains within me. This is the peace one feels when, regardless of the pressures of life, all is right in the world. That inexplicable peace felt when there are seemingly endless tasks to complete, yet no anxiety. This is the deep peace of answering a call. The peace of Mary’s “be it done unto me”, of Peter leaving his nets – this is the peace I feel.
Although my call was not as obvious nor as grand as Mary’s or Peter’s, it is just as unique and focused. By answering this call to serve with SPO, I find “peace” is my word, regardless of the world around me. I found this peace through answering my call, but I keep it by calling back. It is only through constant conversation with God that I’m able to come back again and again to that place of peace. At SPO, I am blessed to have daily reminders of the necessity of that conversation through my co-workers, our missionaries and mission partners and the many students touched by SPO.
As I reflect and thank God for bringing me this peace with SPO, there is another sentiment I cannot help by shake when asking “How did I get here?” : I have the feeling God planned this all along.
-submitted by Sarah Deak, Ohio Mission Center Development Coordinator