“Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver and the other gold.”
I loved to sing this beautiful campfire song in my Girl Scout days. We would sing it as a two-part round. I’d never tire of the bell-like sound of our voices.
I have wonderful memories of scouting with my precious silver and gold friends.
What I didn’t love about Girl Scouts was selling cookies door-to-door by myself every year.
I remember one year I had steeled my young heart for disappointment and stepped out the door. I made it to the sixth house down and then ran home in tears. I explained to my mom that everyone had said no, but at this last house, the woman said “no” so nicely that I broke down.
Your Ministry Partners
Later, in 1975, I returned to suburban Cleveland, Ohio, from the excitement of New Staff Training and our U. S. Staff Conference. My cookie-selling disasters were first on my mind.
I wondered what I had gotten myself into. No one knew of Campus Crusade for Christ. My list of contacts was very slim.
The Lord provided and I reported only months later to Arrowhead Springs on January 1, 1976.
For the next several years my focus on “support-raising” (as we called it then) continued to be about the money. I would worry that people would stop giving or that I would not have enough.
Fortunately, MPD training began to sink in about growing relationships. My perspective changed. Today, our ministry partners are valuable silver and gold friends. I enjoy getting to know them.
Your Ministry Partners, Your Friends
Most of our donors, then and now, are people we had never met before. As people join our ministry partner team, they are new silver friends. Over time, they are our gold friends. (My husband, Mike, says that is partly due to how diligent I am about our communication. For instance, I keep up with prayer letters and thank-yous. I acknowledge special events in their lives.)
Here are a few stories of our old and new friends.
(These silver friends are now gold.)
I had not met retired educators, Al and Donna, before. I went on a solo MPD trip one year and asked if I could stay in their home. Before I’d even unpacked, Donna gave me a gift, a beautiful Lenox candle holder!
Jeff was a bush pilot in Alaska. We’d never been to his part of the woods, but he and Louise loved to go to an annual air show in Lakeland, Florida. One year, they invited us to join them and paid our way. It was a fun day getting to know them and learning about small aircraft.
Gentle Phil and Gina took us out to dinner. We always enjoyed our time with them. Phil had done well in waste collection and was retiring. That night we learned how often their lives were threatened. The mob tried to muscle in on their business for years. We were spellbound by his stories.
I’ve had heart issues this year. Eighty-year old Dr. Ben patiently took several phone calls from me as I would try to figure out what to do next. Last time we saw them in person, Nancy mentioned to me on the side that she “wished he would stop waterskiing.”
Are you making new friends and keeping the old? Share your stories in the comments.
- I loved the gold-lined silver pickle dish I found at The Smithonian Institute’s free photo-sharing service. To think of humble pickles served so elegantly!
- MPD is Ministry Partner Development.
- Listen to a four-part round of “Make New Friends” on YouTube.