He tells me he skipped the first hour of school to buy pizza and Takis.
Now it's well after school and he's just chilling on the streets talking to a random girl from Canada.
And if this was me in Grade 4 (or now, actually.), my mom would've reported missing persons already. (Not really.)
But really. Where are his parents?
And I don't know the answer and I'm not sure I want to know but I think I know.
I have absolutely no idea for this kid specifically, but if I profiled an average kid from Wilmington, I'm guessing dad's long gone and mom's either pulling a double at a job (whether it's a legal or illegal one, not too sure), wrapped up with a boyfriend or passed out on the couch.
And we can throw judgements and toss out suggestions like get a job or go to college, but maybe it's us who didn't even give them that chance.
And that might not be our fault either because we didn't choose where we were born and neither did they, so we're just a bunch of people born into a lifestyle and maybe if we ditched "us and them" and just did it together, that's what would work out?
Because being born into the suburbs, where hoarding and selfishness and other terrible things reign, I didn't get to choose that and neither did any of the interns or staff at UrbanPromise Wilmington. And being born into the inner city, where gangs and bad education and other terrible things reign, none of the UP kids, nor their parents or families got to choose that.
What we do get to choose is what we do after we're born and what we do about what we were born into.
Because we all share two things in common:
1. We were all born into a terrible world.
2. We were all born into a world where hope still exists through Jesus.
And so people like the UrbanPromise staff are working to rid of the hoarding, selfishness, gangs, bad education and all those other terrible things all at once - because they believe in hope.
And teams like mine come in, and we see it - we were born into a terrible world.
But hope can live in and through us - all of us.
Because that same fourth grader - I got to pray with him and do homework with him and play charades with him and you know what happened? Just a little bit of the selfishness and other terrible things from where I was born died in me, and a little bit of the bad education and other terrible things from where he was born died in him.
I see the terrible world I was born into - and I try just a little to make it less terrible.
My current favourite fourth grader? He sees the terrible world he was born into - and he tries just a little to make it less terrible.
And I help him and he helps me and isn't that the Body of Christ and isn't that how it was supposed to be?
And the only way hope lives? Is through Jesus.
Let me tell you something - You (yes, you.) were born into a terrible world.
No, it's not your fault. You didn't choose that.
But what you can choose, is what you're gonna do about it.
Here's something you can do about it - would you help UrbanPromise Wilmington continue to bring hope to the terrible world we were born into?
Here's the thing: We had the awesome opportunity to eat at UP's Executive Director's house while in Wilmington, and he said last year was not a good year financially, and they're just trusting God for this year.
It's tough for Canadians because of tax receipt stuff but I know I have some US readers, and this is me asking you to consider supporting UrbanPromise Wilmington. I can tell you from experience that the Kingdom-work they're in is real and amazing. If you feel so led, clicking here will bring you to their donation page.
Thank you! :)
Just realizing the lack of photos in my last post, so here are a few photos to end today's post. :) Also, I now know that this series is going to be at least 3 posts long... so stay tuned! ;)
|At one UP Wilmington's four elementary school camps/after school programs, Camp Victory. I spent all of this and last year at this camp - love that place! [CV is clearly the best camp, it's just that people from other camps can't admit it. ;)]|
|Saturday basketball! :)|
|The team. I have a whole lot of love for these people! ❤|