Ministry to the ShepherdsAnnie Pelle
MINISTRY TO THE SHEPHERDS
Ministry to the Shepherds
Copyright 2012 by Annie Pelle
Cover by https://lisabrowningphotography.com
Table of Contents
Middle of the Book
End of the Book
About the Author
“Thank you for calling Ministry to the Shepherds. How may I help you?” asked Rachel Hale
“I’m calling for information on your ministry.” A strong male voice asked.
“Certainly. We are a ministry to those who minister or in other words The Shepherds of God’s people. We provide a place of resource such as counseling help in other communities, a place for the minister to share his prayer requests in case he doesn’t want to share with his congregation.”
“Interesting. Do you help pastors with relocating issues, such as a reputable realtor?”
“Not usually unless you are relocating to Albuquerque, New Mexico, then I could help you out.”
“I may take you up on that. Anyway, thank you for the information. I may be calling back.” He said as he started to disconnect.
“Wait. Anyone who calls get added to our prayer list even if they don’t use our service. Will you tell me your name?”
“My name is Ethan Hayes.”
“Thank you. Call again if we can be of service.”
“And what is your name?”
“Thank you for your help Rachel. Have a good day.”
“You too Mr. Hayes.”
Rachel hung up from the call and spoke into her voice operated document search program. “Prayer list” she said and then heard the sound of the document opening. “Please speak name to add to prayer list.” She heard a few seconds later. “Ethan Hayes” Rachel spoke into her microphone. “Ethan Hayes has been added to the list Rachel.”
“Thank you” replied Rachel “Document close.”
Rachel returned to the study of the book of James that she had started that morning. She had just started to run her fingers along the page to find the first verse again when her sister, Robin came downstairs. “Hi Rachel. Ready for lunch?”
“Sure, are you burning the cheese sandwiches or am I?”
“Funny.” Robin growled “I could let you starve. You wouldn’t eat if I didn’t remind you it was time.”
“And you are any better?” Rachel laughed “Who reminded you it was time to eat?”
“Martha” Robin answered “Mom sent her over here with food. She found me in the workshop before she found you in the catacombs down here.”
“Did I forget to turn the lights on again?” Rachel asked as she stood up from her chair
“Yes, but since you don’t need them, why would you turn them on?”
“So my sister won’t think I’m entombed down here.” Rachel answered
Robin laughed as she watched her twin sister climb the stairs to the kitchen. Rachel Hayes had been injured in an accident at the family farm about ten years ago. She had lost her sight and received several very noticeable facial cuts that had left her face scarred. “Am I turning the computers off?” Robin asked as she walked past the switch.
“No. I’m going back down after we eat.” answered Rachel then turned to greet Martha. “Hi Martha. How are you?” she asked hugging their mother’s cook and housekeeper
“I’m great.” answered Martha “God loves me.”
Rachel and Robin agreed with Martha. “Mom sent you to check up on us?” asked Rachel
“No. She wanted me to feed you. That’s all.” Martha grumbled
“Sure. What did she want to know that she couldn’t pick up the phone and ask?” Rachel queried
“Nothing, she just wanted to remind you that the possible new preacher is coming to preach on Sunday and that she expects you for dinner tomorrow night.”
“We remember, Martha.” Robin laughed “She doesn’t have to send you to remind us.”
“Eat your lunch. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Martha said as she left the kitchen
Rachel and Robin waited until they heard the car start then they burst out laughing. “How old are we again?” Robin asked
“Either two or twenty-five, depending on who you ask.” answered Rachel as she bowed her head to pray.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for all your provisions and most especially your son, Jesus Christ. Nourish us with this food and your word so that we might be of service to you.
In Jesus name
Robin and Rachel went back to work after their lunch and forgot about the dinner with their mother. Their mother, Pearl Hale, was a strong, capable, independent woman who loved her God, her husband and her kids in that order. She taught her four children the values that God values and she taught them her independent spirit. She just still tried to un-independence them a little too much.
Then next evening, Robin drove the girls out to the family farm for their weekly family dinner. The farm was several thousand acres of crops, mountains and livestock. Their father, Jacob Hale, was one of the wealthiest men in the state of New Mexico but also one of the humblest. He loved his God, his wife and his kids in that order.
As Robin pulled in front of the house, she looked for any obstacles that would be in Rachel’s way. “The gardener is still working and his tools are still out. Wait for me to come around the car.”
“Thanks” Rachel responded graciously
Robin came around and walked Rachel to the front door without mishap. Jacob opened the door as he saw them walk up. “Hi” he said as he hugged them. “Hi Dad” they responded
“Hi girls” their mother said as she descended the stairs. “You both look very beautiful.”
“Thank you mother” they responded in unison “So do you. New outfit?” asked Robin
“Yes” her mother answered hugging them both “Go with your father, I need to check on Martha.”
“Yes, mom” they replied indulgently. Jacob took hold of Rachel’s hand and placed it on his arm to lead her into the living room. He started to ask them about their day and their projects when his sons came. “Hi, we’re late but we are here.” Jeremy said as he and Paul entered the house.
Pearl came to announce dinner was ready and the family walked into the dining room. Jacob prayed a short but meaningful prayer and the dinner was served. Jacob asked each of his children what they had been studying in their Bible daily devotions. Rachel was the last to answer “Count it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” “I started a study of James yesterday and got to studying this verse. It applies, don’t you think?” Rachel asked and her family answered with “yes”. Jacob and Pearl were proud of all their children, but Rachel had overcome adversity to minister to others in such a unique way.
Robin and Rachel left their parents home several hours later with a reminder from their mother about the possible new preacher coming on Sunday. “We remember. But we are always there anyway, why do you keep reminding us?”
“Because I just do.” Pearl answered and they laughed and kissed her goodbye.
Sunday morning, Robin led Rachel into the worship center after morning Bible Study and helped her find a seat near the back of the auditorium. Rachel had trouble navigating around people and she didn’t want to hit them with her cane so she chose to sit close to the back of the room. “I’ll see you after the service.” Robin said heading to the choir room to practice.
“Hey Sis” Jeremy said sitting d
own beside her “Hi Jer” Rachel responded
“Have you met the preacher yet?” asked Jeremy
“No, and don’t point me out if he comes this way.”
“Why not?” asked Jeremy
Jeremy was just about to respond when the music minister began the first song and the choir entered. As the song service ended, the chairman of the personnel committee introduced their speaker.
“Ethan Hayes is our preacher today; included in your bulletins is his background and education qualifications. We are honored you are here with us.” He said welcoming Ethan to the podium.
Rachel was momentarily stunned. She had talked to an Ethan Hayes earlier in the week and had been praying for him ever since. Ethan thanked the church for allowing him to speak and then began his sermon. Rachel didn’t remember much of the sermon because his presence had caught her off guard. She didn’t understand why but she couldn’t concentrate on his topic.
After the service, Ethan was greeting church goers in the foyer but Rachel never went out that way. Robin always led her out the side and around the building to the car so that Rachel wouldn’t have difficulties running into people.
“Well, did you like him?” Rachel asked as they started home
“Yeah, he was very interesting. He seems to know what he is talking about.”
“Good, maybe he’ll be our new pastor.” Rachel commented. Her words were proven true a week later as the church voted to call Ethan Hayes to be their new pastor.
“Thank you for calling Ministry to the Shepherds. How may I help you?” Rachel said in greeting.
“Hello. I spoke with someone a couple of weeks ago about relocating and if they knew a reputable realtor.”
“Yes, I remember.”
“Yes, you remembered my name.”
“Remembering people’s name is my business.” He laughed as he answered
“I thought preaching was your business.”
“You know me?”
“Yes, you are the new pastor of the church I attend.”
“Wonderful. I guess you figured out that this is Ethan Hayes.”
“I did. You are the only one who asked about a realtor. I know of several, I will email you the names if you would like.”
“That would be fantastic.” Ethan gave her his email address and thanked her for her assistance “I’ll see you when I get to town then.”
“I’ll be praying for your safe arrival.” She said as she hung up. Rachel voice activated her email program and sent the information to Ethan. His response came back right away that he looked forward to meeting her.
“Not likely.” She said to the quiet room. As she went back to reading and studying, another message from Ethan came. He a dozen questions that he sent throughout the day and Rachel began to be amused by his disorganization at sending multiple emails instead of asking all his questions at the same time. Rachel patiently answered his questions but didn’t get much studying done in the book of James.
Several weeks later, Ethan stood at the podium of the church he was the new pastor of and looked at the crowd trying to see if he could guess who Rachel was. She had patiently answered his questions and helped him with his move here, he wanted to thank her personally.
“Good morning. I’m so glad to be here with you. Thank you for all your help since my arrival and my preparations for my arrival.” Ethan continued with his opening remarks then asked them to turn to the book of James.
Rachel was thrilled he was going to be preaching on this topic. She pulled out her tape recorder and pushed record so she could listen to it again when she got home. Rachel enjoyed his insight and found out that some if it matched hers and some of it was new insights to her. As the sermon and the service ended, Robin came to direct Rachel out the side of the church.
Ethan was learning people’s names as they shook his hand but he didn’t ever meet a Rachel. He was a little disappointed; he really wanted to thank her for her help and prayers on his behalf.
Monday morning, Ethan sent an email to Rachel. “Did I meet you yesterday?” he asked Rachel.
“No, you may have met some of my family members though. We all attend there. I really enjoyed your sermon.”
“Thank you” he wrote back “I’m sorry to have missed you. I really appreciate all your help on my move here.”
“You are welcome, but all I did was answer a few questions.” She responded “That’s what the Ministry is all about.”
Ethan responded that he was still very grateful and he hoped to meet her next week. Rachel didn’t respond but she thought that is was very doubtful.
Rachel went back to work and studying as Ethan went on with his day. Rachel was reviewing a message from another church member about organizing a prayer team for the new pastor. Rachel volunteered to host it and she would round up about five more people.
“Rachel?” her sister called from upstairs
“Yeah” Rachel answered
“Can you email Tom Green and get the details on the Christmas pageant scenery? I need to get started on it but I’m in the middle of a project.”
“Sure, I’ll do it.”
“Thank you.” Robin said escaping back to her workshop. It was only August but she needed to be working on the sets for the church’s Christmas program soon.
Rachel wrote the email that Robin had requested and then went back to studying. She was transcribing the notes from the sermon on Sunday. She learned more the second time she listened to his sermon but she had a question. She decided to email him and see if he would answer.
“Email program on.” She said into her microphone then waited for the signal that it was open. “New email.” She stated next then waited for the signal that a new email page was available. She read off his email address and then told the computer program the subject. After dictating her question into the body of the message and telling the program to send she went back to her studies. Shortly, her email program told her she had a new email. “Received new email open.” She commanded and then waited for her program to read the message to her.
First it read off the name of the sender and she was surprised to find that it was from Ethan already. “Good question. At least someone was listening to my sermon.” He joked and Rachel laughed at him. He answered her question but that lead to another question from Rachel.
“I’m sorry to bother you. But I have another question now.” She stated before she asked her next question. Ethan’s reply came back just as fast as the first one. “Another good question, are you spying for the personnel committee to see if I really know my stuff?” he asked jokingly before he answered her question then told her at the end of his message that she wasn’t bothering him. Rachel laughed at his reference to the personnel committee but didn’t respond to him other than to say “thank you for your help.”
He seems to have a sense of humor anyway. Rachel thought to herself as she went back to reading James. Rachel closed her Bible and went in search of her sister. She carefully opened the door to her sister’s shop but didn’t venture in past the first step. Rachel knew from experience that it was a bad idea, she had no idea where things were on the floor of Robin’s shop.
“Hey” Robin called to her “don’t move from that step”
“Got it.” Rachel responded “What are you working on?”
Robin answered bringing Rachel an example to “look” over. “It is a miniature rocking horse.” Rachel could feel the designs that Robin had carved in the face and body. “They will love them.” exclaimed Rachel.
As they were finishing their lunch the phone rang “Hello?”
“This is Tom Green.”
“Hi Tom, its Robin. Did you get Rachel’s email?”
“Yes, I need to talk to Ethan before I can give you many details. I’ll show him what I was thinking but he may
have some changes. Will that give you enough time?”
“Sure, but the sooner the better.”
“Thanks Robin. I’ll see you Sunday if I don’t talk to you before then.”
Robin returned to her lunch. “Thanks for emailing him, he isn’t ready yet. He needs to run his ideas by the pastor first.”
“No problem. Glad to be of help.”
Help was Rachel’s middle name, she would help whomever and whenever she could. She could organize better than anyone Robin had ever known and she accomplished more than anyone could imagine.
Monday morning, Rachel was reviewing the sermon notes from Sunday when her front door buzzer sounded. “Hello.”
Ethan was puzzled that someone didn’t answer the door. “I’m looking for Robin.”
“Stay there and I’ll buzz her to tell her she has a guest. Who may I say is here?”
“One moment.” Rachel said. Rachel buzzed Robin in the workshop and told her that Ethan Hayes was at the front door. Robin said she would go see him and signed off. Rachel returned to the front door intercom and announced that Robin would be right there.
“Thank you.” Ethan replied to the intercom box
“Hello” Robin said rounding the corner of the house “I’m Robin Hale.” She said as she extended her hand to him.
“It’s nice to meet you.” He said shaking her hand “You sing in the choir right?”
“Yes. What can I do for you?”
“Tom wanted me to talk to you about the Christmas pageant set.”
“He did? Why?”
“He said after I looked over his plans to bring them to you with my changes.”
“Okay, come on back to the shop and let’s go over your changes.” Robin said leading the way to her shop. “Watch your step. I’m not a neat craftsman.”
“Who cares when your work is the beautiful? I’m impressed.” He said looking at the miniature horses she was creating.
“Thank you. They are Christmas presents for children around town.”
“Here are Tom’s plans.” He said getting down to business “I only had minor changes. But I hadn’t met you yet so I decided to make a pastoral visit at the same time.”