A Decade of Service

April 5, 2010 at 11:19 am 1 comment

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

I’m celebrating my 10th year with Straight Ahead Ministries in 2010.  The above verse reminds me of how plainly God made clear that He intended for me to become a part of this work.  Please let me explain.

It was 2000 when Carol and I returned from Michigan to New England.  Both of our mothers and our two sons all lived here. I had been on staff at a church in Michigan for 2 ½ years after 28 years in manufacturing management.  I did not have a job but I was open continuing in ministry or returning to manufacturing management.

On a Friday in May, Carol and I were praying about my job search in our small apartment in South Portland, ME.  I had expected to hear the previous Monday from a printer in Rhode Island about a plant manager’s position.  I was one of two still in the running.  While praying, I had prayed “Lord, please direct me by opening and closing doors in my job search.”  Shortly after I prayed this, the phone rang.  It was the vice-president of human resources of the Rhode Island company informing me that the job had been offered to the other candidate on Monday.  He had asked for more time to consider it and called back and accepted the position that day.  The VP wished me well in my job search.

When Carol asked about the phone call, I told her “It was a door closing.”  After our prayer time, I picked up my e-mails.  One was from Jim Van Yperen, chairman of Straight Ahead Ministries. He suggested that I call Scott Larson at Straight Ahead.  He felt that they could use someone with my skills.  I called Scott on Friday and left a message.

On Sunday, we attended Stroudwater Christian Church in Portland where a missionary named Dan Mercer spoke.  He thanked the congregation for their support of his work as a chaplain at Long Creek, the juvenile lock-up in South Portland.  When I asked where Long Creek was located, I discovered it was on Westbrook Street in South Portland – on the same street as our apartment.  When we got home, we realized that Long Creek’s buildings were visible from our front windows.

Scott Larson called back on Monday explaining that he was in New Jersey over the weekend performing a wedding for one of the guys that had lived in the ministry’s discipleship home.  I asked if the wedding took place at Valley View Chapel and if Brian was the groom.  Following a brief silence, he said, “Yes.”  I explained that I once managed a printing plant in Flanders, New Jersey, attended Valley View Chapel and was in a small group hosted by the parent’s of Brian’s bride.  Brian joined our group for prayer on his way home to Massachusetts from Wheaton College.  Brian had lived at the ministry’s discipleship home with Scott and his wife Hanne.  I told Scott that Brian and I also discovered that we had met years before when he accompanied Scott to Trinity Baptist in Nashua where Scott preached for our vacationing pastor.

Scott invited me to a ministry leadership meeting the following Wednesday.  While there, I shared that Dan Mercer had spoken at the church we attended on Sunday and we’d discovered that we lived next door to Long Creek.  Scott got a copy of the book A Way Out and pointed out that Dan Mercer co-wrote this book and Brian’s testimony was in the book.

Some would call these series of events coincidental.  I believe that God, through these same events, made clear that He “had plans for me” with Straight Ahead Ministries.  As a result, I joined Straight Ahead in the summer of 2000 as Director of Operations where I remained for three years.  Through a new series of events, God made it clear that He wanted me more directly involved in ministry.  So in the fall of 2003, we came to Maine in my new role of Coordinator of Ministries.

We love being a part of this ministry and look forward to the plans that God has in mind for us in the future.

-Dan Hatch


Entry filed under: Staff Contributions. Tags: , .

He is Risen Indeed Irrepressible Faith

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Mundias  |  March 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    May God accomplish great things through you.


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