Living in the Midwest can sometimes warp my perspective. Life can be filled with ease, comfort, and entitlement. I tend to think about things that only matter to me and that are for my benefit. Every now and then a dose of reality brings to the forefront what really matters.
We live in a world where there are many injustices. The evil one seeks to destroy all that is good and leads people down paths of hopelessness and despair. It's easy for us to lose perspective on the larger battles that are being fought. Bigger problems than cold weather, poor driving conditions, and unexpected bills exist.
This past weekend I received another (of many lately) wake-up calls. This happened for me in a parent visit to Kensington, Pennsylvania. Kensington is a community with great needs: spiritual, economic, social, and physical.
From on top of Esperanza
My son, Matt, is spending a year of his life giving to the dear people of Kensington through a ministry called Mission Year. The community is a multi-ethnic, low income, urban area. High unemployment, addiction, and high crime make up the neighborhoods. He works at Esperanza Health Care Center. Esperanza provides health care assistance to low income families in the greater Philadelphia area.
I was amazed and encouraged at how well Matt fit into life in the inner-city. He has come to know countless people. The impact that he has made at Esperanza is evident. We went on a tour of downtown Philly where Matt introduced us to a older lady who works in guest relations in one of the downtown parks. He had met her there and drummed up a friendship. Everywhere we went, Matt was introducing us to "his" people.
The words came out of my mouth as Lisa and I were leaving the city... "I think he was born for this." We have been watching Matt develop for nearly twenty-three years. We have worked hard at shaping his experiences and supported the paths that he has taken. Now another journey begins for him. We are encouraged that Matt has not settled for a "less than" life.
What were your children born for? Are you leading them down paths in which they have no choice but to settle? Our expectations can often lead our children to become people they were not born to be.
Here are some pictures a friend just sent me. He serves as a missionary in Africa with A.B.W.E. His name is Kyle Farran. This was his description ; "thought you would like a taste of Africa.... He picked our 4x4 three foot off the ground...... (before) .....the herd came up behind us and trapped us....the now very mad male in the musth noticed us.....we took off through the bush and he t-boned us, lifting us three foot into the air.... the sign appeared one month later"