In the early days of our ministry, three children lived across the street from my family. They came to our Bible Clubs and played in our backyard with our kids. My wife Rebecca often helped them with homework and school projects. Sometimes they came for dinner when food was scarce at their home. Their clothes were often dirty, their hair unkempt, they obviously faced many challenges.One day as I was walking to my house, “Karina,” the oldest girl, ran to me bursting with joy. She had just found $60.00 on her way home from school. Two days later I saw her walking up the street with another big smile, her little brother and sister were walking with her, dressed up in brand new school clothes. Yes, all her found money was spent on her siblings.
I have often been refreshed and redirected by a simple statement that I heard many years ago: “Don’t be impassioned by the darkness of the night, but by the brightness of the light.” This statement has always helped me to lift my eyes to Jesus, whose love and power has tenderly carried us all these years. Lately, I have also been impassioned by the brightness of His beauty that I see in the children and families that we serve.
To know the precious ones that come to Urban Hope for sanctuary, is to love them. Sometimes it’s hard for me to understand how they can still laugh and love when I know what they are dealing with at home. I have learned that it takes years of abuse and evil to snuff out the light of God’s image that burns in these children. It is a privilege to protect and tend the holy fire that burns in their hearts.
There is such brightness from heaven and such brightness and hope here on earth. We are pushing hard to see a movement break out in which every church in America comes alongside a neighboring, blighted community Join us as we continue to pray that it would be “on earth as it is in heaven.”