Mission Year http://missionyear.org One Year Can Change Everything Tue, 21 Jul 2015 17:18:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Why I’m Doing Mission Year: Tina Hodgehttp://missionyear.org/why-im-doing-mission-year-tina-hodge/ http://missionyear.org/why-im-doing-mission-year-tina-hodge/#respond Tue, 21 Jul 2015 17:18:03 +0000 http://missionyear.org/?p=599 Read More]]> We asked some of our incoming team members why they’ve chosen to do Mission Year. Here’s what one of our future Philly team members had to say.

 

I am doing Mission Year because, God has instilled in me a love for justice, for service, for people and for Him. Mission Year is the next step in my journey, the next step that will bring me closer to who God wants me to be and to where He wants me to go. After my first interview with Mission Year, even before I got the notice that I was accepted, God called my name to His service. He has called me to live my life serving Him and those around me and everything Mission Year stands for I want to continuously pursue: Love God, Love People and Nothing Else Matters.

I know God has called me away from any possible dream I have ever held onto, any possible form of an idea that would not follow His direction of my life. He has called me to a life of servitude, of humility, of teachable moments, of lasting memories, of hard struggles and of rejoiceable moments. He hasn’t sent me to Mission Year, instead He has called me there, and that will only just be the beginning of my journey.

Love is what Mission Year stands for and that is who and what I too want my life to forever be encased in. That is why I am doing Mission Year, not for myself, or for my city or for my church, but for Him. For God who stands tall above everything else and calls me daughter and beautiful and who has never failed me, not even once. When I am alone or afraid, He is there, He is the lamp at my feet in stormy darkness and the shining sun in bright daylight. He is my everything, my all and all. And because of that, I am heading out  to work in a community I have never met and to become a part of something that is bigger than I could ever imagine.

 

TinaHodgeTina Hodge is a future Mission Year Philly team member. Originally from Wooster, OH, she attended Mount Vernon Nazarene University. You can learn more and support her year by clicking here.

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Why I’m Doing Mission Year: Luke Hillierhttp://missionyear.org/why-im-doing-mission-year-luke-hillier/ http://missionyear.org/why-im-doing-mission-year-luke-hillier/#respond Thu, 16 Jul 2015 08:11:48 +0000 http://missionyear.org/?p=588 Read More]]> We asked some of our incoming team members why they’ve chosen to do Mission Year. Here’s what one of our future Philadelphia team members had to say.

 
 

I’m ready for new teachers to learn from about who Jesus is and how he works. I’m ready to shatter the ceiling I’ve placed on what obedience looks like. I’m ready to grow in my understanding of God and identity in Christ in ways I simply can’t within my comfort zone. I’m ready to love people and pursue justice in the flesh and on the ground, where the Kingdom is coming up through the concrete.

 
 
 

LukeHillierLuke Hillier is an incoming Mission Year Philadelphia team member. Originally from Pataskala, OH, he attended Denison University. Read more on his blog and consider supporting his year.
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Why I’m Doing Mission Year: Nikki Runionhttp://missionyear.org/why-im-doing-mission-year-nikki-runion/ http://missionyear.org/why-im-doing-mission-year-nikki-runion/#respond Tue, 14 Jul 2015 17:03:03 +0000 http://missionyear.org/?p=579 Read More]]> We asked some of our incoming team members why they’ve chosen to do Mission Year. Here’s what one of our future Chicago team members had to say.

 

I believe it is the Lord’s calling for me as I enter this next chapter of my life. I had my mind set on doing some form of service work upon completion of my four years at the University of Florida. I did some research on Mission Year and immediately fell in love with the mission behind the organization: to Love God and Love People. I have chosen to become a part of the Mission Year team so that I can do just that. I want to grow in my faith through loving others just as our Lord Jesus Christ does. I want to serve others, be in community with others, and show people that they are “seen” and loved. I have come to realize that there is work to do within our own backyard and I am excited to get down to it.

 

nikkiRNikki Runion is a Mission Year Chicago incoming team member. Originally from Jacksonville, FL, she attended The University of Florida. Visit her donation page to learn more and support her work in Chicago.

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Do Not Worryhttp://missionyear.org/do-not-worry/ http://missionyear.org/do-not-worry/#respond Thu, 09 Jul 2015 08:43:24 +0000 http://missionyear.org/?p=570 Read More]]> I worry too much. I worry about everything. What I will wear. What I will eat. What I will do. Who I will be. Where I will go. Honestly, there are very few aspects of my life that allow me to have very little worry at all.

What I have come to realize is that in my worrying, there is pride. There is lack of trust. Lack of love. Lack of faith in God’s faithfulness. Lack of belief in God’s promises. There is lack of confidence in His word.

I know that God is teaching me something in the midst of all of my worrying. Time and time again he reminds me of who He is and what He has promised. I’m not proud to say that I forget these things way too often. I forget that He loves me.  I forget that he is faithful.  I forget that he is a promise keeper and not a promise breaker. I forget that unlike so many other people in my life–rather by death or abandonment – He will never leave me (Deuteronomy 31:6).  But in my worry, in my racing, troubling mind, I leave Him.  Time and time again, I abandon Him in wanting to handle everything on my own.  I abandon what His Word says.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

-Proverbs 3:5

And then time and time again God, in His never ending faithfulness, gives me a gentle reminder by showing and telling me what I have forgotten. He offers me grace.  He is steady in His unconditional love.

When I have worried about tuition, He has provided enough. He has provided a way. I’ve always been able to pay for my education.

When I have worried about where I would live, He has been the roof over my head. He has given me a safe place to rest my head. He has given me a home.

When I have worried about food or water, He has been the substance that has filled me up. I’ve never gone hungry. I’ve never been thirsty.

God’s Word says to not worry. Not about life. Not about what I will eat or drink. Nor about what I will wear.

I’m beginning to get better at not worrying. I’m beginning to remember the trust and faith and hope that I had once before.  I’m beginning to get back and reclaim my child-like faith.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you — you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

-Matthew 6:25-34

 

Image credit: Death to the Stock Photo

 

tashaTasha Jordan is a Mission Year Chicago, East Garfield Park team member. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, she attended Chatham University and will be pursing her master’s in St. Louis after Mission Year. Read more on her blog.

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This is a Story About Maryhttp://missionyear.org/this-is-a-story-about-mary/ http://missionyear.org/this-is-a-story-about-mary/#respond Tue, 07 Jul 2015 07:52:53 +0000 http://missionyear.org/?p=565 Read More]]> So, this is a story about Mary. And about Jesus, and about me.

I met Mary when I was on my lunch break. I walked down the block to the little burger joint on the corner (they have the BEST milkshakes, so on particularly exhausting weeks I like to treat myself). I was waiting by the curb after I ordered. Waiting at one of the tables were two women, at another table two men. There were a few people in line, a few standing around like me. The wait is sometimes long, but I don’t mind, because I enjoy observing the people who come and go from the place.

After a few minutes, a woman walked up to the table where the men were sitting. She spoke to them, they quietly responded, and she walked away. Then she turned and started walking toward me. She said hello and started telling me about some of the difficulties she’d been facing recently. When I asked her name, she said “I’m Mary.” I told her my name, and listed awhile longer to the pieces of her story that she was sharing. Finally, she asked if I could help her pay for lunch. All I had was $5.00, but I thought it might be better than nothing. We talked a bit more, and before she left she gave me a hug.

Here’s a confession, y’all. Normally, I don’t give out money. Sometimes, especially if there are a lot of people around, or I feel like I’m on a schedule, I won’t even stop to listen. Sometimes, I’m afraid of what people will think of me if I take the time to listen or talk to a person who is asking for money.

But there was something about Mary that made me step outside those fears and listen. I don’t know if she was telling the truth or not. I don’t know what she might use the $5.00 for. But I know that when I asked her name, the look on her face showed that she felt seen. And when she addressed me by my name, I felt seen, too.

A few minutes later, I heard the women at the table loudly mocking some of the things that Mary had said, calling her names and laughing. Suddenly I realized that I probably looked the same for talking to her, listening to her story, and helping her. Those women, and maybe everyone else waiting nearby, might have been thinking that I was stupid for even paying attention to her, naive for listening and believing her.

But surprisingly, I didn’t care. I didn’t care if they thought I was stupid or naive. Maybe I was. But I also shared a moment of connection with a woman who seemed like she was feeling pretty disconnected. It brought peace to my own disconnected soul, too.

I guess that sometimes, loving people makes you look stupid. Or silly. Or naive. But Mary taught me that it’s worth it. It’s worth it to love, to care, to listen. To be interruptible. It was a challenging and humbling thing to learn, but I couldn’t help thinking that it must have been a feeling that Jesus experienced a lot. He was probably mocked all the time for paying attention to the people who he paid attention to. And yet, he kept paying attention.

Chances are, I will miss more opportunities for connection because of my own fear or selfishness. But I hope that I remember Mary when I am afraid of what others might think of me. I hope that I remember her smile, and that brief but powerful moment of connection.

 

Image credit: Death to the Stock Photo

 
katieduffyKatie Duffy currently serves on Mission Year Houston’s City if Refuge team. A University of Pittsburgh graduate, she’s originally from Chadds Ford, PA. Read more of her writing on her blog.

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Why More Asian Americans Should Do Mission Yearhttp://missionyear.org/why-more-asian-americans-should-do-mission-year/ http://missionyear.org/why-more-asian-americans-should-do-mission-year/#respond Thu, 02 Jul 2015 09:23:10 +0000 http://missionyear.org/?p=552 Read More]]> (I am a 2nd generation Chinese-American who grew up in a family that embraced traditional East Asian values. This post is written from that perspective, and so my use of “Asian Americans” mostly refers to people who share a similar background. It is not meant to encompass every kind of Asian American. That said, I still think all Asian Americans would benefit from doing Mission Year!)
 
I’ve been an Asian American all my life (joke), but I came across Mission Year when I was 25 years old. I was experiencing a quarter-life crisis, decided to quit my job in Detroit, and moved to Chicago to participate in the Year One program. Being in Mission Year (as a team member then, and staff member now) has changed and developed the many identities I hold. But its impact on me as an Asian American has been unique. It’s not one that I share with many alumni, and I long for that to be different! So here goes… 5 ways that Mission Year has impacted me and consequent reasons why I think more Asian Americans should do Mission Year!

 

Mission Year has…

1. Deepened my love for my ethnic identity.

When I started the Year One program, I was nervous about being removed from my Asian American community. I had plenty of experience being an ethnic minority in multiple settings, but I had never been a minority in every single setting. I came in ready to assimilate, but I experienced the exact opposite. Mission Year wanted me to just “be” myself, to hold onto my uniqueness even when it was easier not to. Being myself —especially in my difference— was sometimes hard, often awkward, and always vulnerable. But sharing my heritage that year was special. In naming for others what I deeply cherished for myself, I found myself embracing my Chinese American identity more fully. I fell in love, if you will, with my heritage of rich hospitality, sacrificial service, togetherness, sharing, and cooperation. And for someone who has experienced much of her life having mixed feelings about being Chinese—this experience was a real gift to me.

 

2. Developed my racial awareness and identity.

When I was little, I told my parents I was (White) American because I liked hamburgers over Chinese food. I looked in the mirror and believed/dreamed that I was White. On one occasion, my substitute teacher even edited my personal essay saying that I shouldn’t refer to myself as “Asian American,” because the word “American” was enough. He said that America was a melting pot, so that meant the word “American” encompassed every racial group. I did not require any distinction.

Those childhood experiences were confusing, but no one processed them with me. I felt different, looked different, and wasn’t always sure what to do with that. I’m not disappointed at any of the adults in my life for not talking to me about race and racial identity development. I mean, the vast majority of Americans don’t know how to talk about those things!

So when Mission Year came along and gave me a space to process my racial experiences, I felt empowered in ways I had never felt before. I also felt challenged, because I was becoming more aware of the daily realities Brown and Black people face. Mission Year gave me new tools to understand race/racism. It also taught me how to have a racial conversation and to have it really well. I’m thankful for the ways I feel more prepared to pursue racial justice and reconciliation, especially in an era where our country’s racial diversity is growing and our racial tensions are becoming more prominent.

 

3. Deepened my followership of Jesus

It’s hard to go in the opposite direction of what your parents want for you. Especially when their dreams are attached to years of sacrifice. I mean, they left their home country “for a better life”— for me, for us, and for the generations to come. It’s really hard to go against that.

Doing Mission Year is countercultural for anyone, but doing the program as an Asian American felt super countercultural. I had made a number of similar decisions in my life prior to that year, but saying, “Yes” to God that year was only familiar, not easier. It’s been 6 years since the start of my Mission Year journey, and I can say that God has worked in amazing ways I never expected- in myself, in my parents, and in our relationship. Saying, “Yes” to Jesus is painful, tearful, risky, beautiful, and rewarding. I’m thankful I’ve been able to experience all these things over time.

 

4. Reminded me how to receive grace.

Being a part of a multicultural community has a way of highlighting both the gifts and harmful aspects we bring to community life. One of the harmful things I’ve wrestled with over and over in my life is my obsession with excellence. So many Asian Americans I know struggle with receiving grace; it’s a common narrative. So being a part of Mission Year and being surrounded by folks who didn’t struggle (to the same extent) created a new norm for me. I had people reminding me to be kind and gentle with myself; to relax and enjoy the moment; and to practice self-care and rest. I am certain that my feelings of wholeness today have a lot to do with the practices and perspectives I’ve intentionally grown in since that year.

 

5. Shown me what it means to advocate for others.

My parents helped me develop a lot of skills, but advocating was not one of them. In Japan there is a saying, “The nail that sticks up will be hammered down.” But in America the saying goes, “The squeaky wheel gets the oil.” I’m constantly living in tension between those two worlds, learning when to hold onto both and when to choose one over the other… but I thank Mission Year for teaching me the value of advocating—for speaking up for myself and for others. One of the names for the Holy Spirit is “Advocate” and I’m learning how to imitate the Spirit’s example in the way I care for individuals and communities at large.

I know that not everyone is able or called to make the decision to commit a year of service to our inner-city neighborhoods. And so my deepest longing is not that more people just do Mission Year; my longing is that more Asian Americans participate in the larger movement of what God is doing in our nation. I recently saw a picture of people gathered together at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston shortly after the shooting- and it was moving. I saw White and Black believers, standing hand in hand in prayer and worship. I saw ordinary people, people of high rank, etc. gathered together in solidarity over the mourning of lost lives. But when I scanned the scene to spot an Asian face, I couldn’t. Where are all the Asians? It’s a question that burns within me. It causes me frustration and longing. It’s a question filled with discouragement and hope.
 
Asian Americans are under-represented in a lot of spheres, but my heart-prayer is that more and more of us will respond to God’s call to join Him in the places He is mourning, redeeming, and restoring. Mission Year was an on-ramp for me, and my hope is that it will be for many others to come!

 

 

11209488_10105297145998773_5747118347151712417_nRuth Nakai is a 2009-10 Mission Year Chicago, Englewood alumni and currently serves on staff as Chicago’s City Director. Originally from Beavercreek, OH, she attended the University of Michigan. She enjoys eating a full plate of appetizers and watching her son hit new milestones.

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One Monthhttp://missionyear.org/one-month/ http://missionyear.org/one-month/#respond Tue, 30 Jun 2015 08:41:03 +0000 http://missionyear.org/?p=546 Read More]]> One. Month.

That’s how long I have here.  That’s how long I have with the roommates that have become family, with the neighbors that have become friends, with the smells and skies and sounds that have become home.

Some days one month seems like it can’t come soon enough and some days it feels like it’s too soon.

I came into Mission Year with so many fears, questions, and anxieties. Would I finish the year? Was this a mistake? What kind of bad things, hard things, messy things will take place? Will I make it through?

One thing I clung to and continue to cling to throughout this year was this whisper of God that it will be okay. “It’s okay. And it will be okay.” It calms me and lets me know that through uncertainty, God will be faithful. And I will be okay.

Soon I will come out of this season with Mission Year and into a new season, full of promise and potential but also bringing along with it its own anxieties and fears. I think the faithfulness of God has continued to reassure me again, like it did in those months leading up to my departure to Houston. “It is okay. And it will be okay.”

I’m grateful, oh so grateful, for the past 10 months I have spent here. It has entailed so much- most of which I’m still processing and probably will process for the next 50 years. There’s still a lot of loose ends, a lot of questions, and some uncertainty. But one thing I have become certain of is the faithfulness of God.

When I ran, He pursued, He waited, He loved. When I was scared or ashamed, He comforted. When I was broken, He healed. When I was joyful, He rejoiced.

And it got me thinking- life would be a much bigger mess for me if I didn’t have Jesus and His people journeying with me through it. If I didn’t have that hope, that love, that peace, and that companionship, I’m not sure what state of mind I’d be in.

I’m glad that life’s a journey. Goodness knows I’d come in dead last if it was a race, and it’d be really boring if it was a stagnant destination. I’m glad to be on this journey with Jesus, who makes it all the sweeter and all the grander. He’s the one whom my eyes can fix upon, because it will all be okay.

 

“Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on you. And through it all, through it all it is well.

Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on you. And it is well with me.

So let go my soul and trust in Him. The waves and wind still know His name.

Let go, my soul, and trust in Him. The waves and wind still know His name.

The waves and wind still know His name.”

from It Is Well by Bethel Music

 

Wherever you are today, know it will be okay. You will be okay. Because God is faithful. Lean into that today.

 

Image credit: Death to the Stock Photo

 

corinne Corinne Qualkinbush serves on Mission Year Houston’s City of Refuge team. Originally from Zionsville, IN, she is passionate about knowing people and being known.

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Jobs vs. Year-Long Programs, pt 4http://missionyear.org/jobs-vs-year-long-programs-pt-4/ http://missionyear.org/jobs-vs-year-long-programs-pt-4/#respond Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:25:23 +0000 http://missionyear.org/?p=514 Read More]]> We get a lot of questions about why someone might choose to do a year-long program like Mission Year, instead of getting a job right out of college, or why someone might step away from a job in their 20’s, for a year. We asked one of our alumni her thoughts.

 

1. Did you feel pressure when you chose a year-long program instead of a job? If so, what made you not give in? 
 
I decided to do Mission Year in the middle of college. I felt a deep desire to serve in an urban neighborhood but didn’t know how to do that or in what context. After a bit of searching and prayer I connected with Mission Year. I think deep down I knew this is where God had called me and it felt right, a new experiencce and something exciting! The harder part was convincing my parents that taking a year off and moving to a new state was a good decision!

 


2. Did Mission Year help you realize/solidify your
 passions and skills? Did we connect you to network of organizations, skills, and opportunities you didn’t know or have before? 
 
Mission Year for sure helped me realize passions that I had no idea I desired before coming. I had settled on studying environmental science in college before M.Y. and after my second year (being an Alum Leader) I realized that I desired to work with people and chose social work as my field of study. I served at a homeless shelter (Star of Hope Missions) for 2 years, and that was a big part that shaped my decision. Having served with the same organization, attended the same church, and lived in the same neighborhood for 2 years helped me build lasting relationships in all three areas. I have many connections to different service sites that are always telling me that they would love to have me come back to do a field practicum (requirement of social work) as well as a job in the future. Because of my involvment with the differnet organizations I gained valuable first hand experience that prompted future life decisions.
 

 

3. What would you say to others who are graduating/leaving a job and thinking what to do?
 
Anyone who is unsure of the decision to make, I always say, “go for it.” What are you going to lose? There is only a short window of opportunity in life to explore things you are passionate about and year long volunteer programs are a great stepping stone to get an in depth look at different ways in which God is working in so many different capacities around the city, country, and world. It is in the leaps of faith and trust in God that we, as individuals and the body, are invited into something bigger and unimaginable that only can be divinely ordained. New relationships, different career paths, and deep passions and callings are uncovered when we step out in faith.

 

 

IMG_0627Abigail Bartlett is currently a student at Texas Southern University studying Social Work. She works at a community development center where she works along side others living a missional lifestyle that aims to empower others while loving people in different stages of life. She lives in Third Ward, Houston continuing to practice daily what it means to live a life of intentionality and faith.

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Juneteenth Reflectionhttp://missionyear.org/juneteenth-reflection/ http://missionyear.org/juneteenth-reflection/#respond Fri, 19 Jun 2015 15:44:21 +0000 http://missionyear.org/?p=501 Read More]]> Today is Juneteenth, a holiday to remember the emancipation of African American slaves in our country. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was announced, many slaves in the south were not made aware of it until 2 and a half years later.

Today we celebrate the victory of freedom and justice over centuries of institutional chattel slavery. An institution fiercely defended by whites, justified by Christians, and accepted as the way it is by society.

Today we are reminded that economic exploitation and antiblackness is at the root of our nation’s moral pathology and will continue to persist and take new forms if not resisted at every turn.

Today we profess that God is a God of freedom and justice. “For I, the Lord, love justice,” wrote the prophet Isaiah. “It is for freedom that Christ has set you free,” declared the apostle Paul. We are reminded that we worship a God who does not stand for slavery, imprisonment, racism and violence.

Today we are challenged to continue that fight for freedom – not a militaristic fight of destructive violence but a spiritual and moral resolve, not a logic of freedom as a shallow protection of our comfortable lifestyle but a freedom that is first and foremost directed toward the poor and oppressed, the most degraded and discarded among us.

Today we lament that the “land of liberty” incarcerates more people – the majority of whom are black, brown and poor – than any other nation. We lament the brutal treatment of black lives by those entrusted to protect and serve. We lament the silent suffering and economic exploitation of migrant workers who labor in unbearable conditions with little protections.

Today we remember our work is not done. We hold the tension of hope and lament together. We ask God for mercy as we seek justice. We see resistance as a faithful Christian response to injustice. We pray and we protest. We call out our nation not because we are ungrateful for what we have but because we know there’s more that we are called to be.

 

Image Credit: Death to the Stock Photo

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Wisdomhttp://missionyear.org/wisdom/ http://missionyear.org/wisdom/#respond Thu, 18 Jun 2015 20:31:42 +0000 http://missionyear.org/?p=493 Read More]]> As he bebops around our living room, break-dancing to one of today’s popular rap songs on the radio… I realize how much I have come to care for this 5 year old. Earlier we had been sitting on the porch listening to one of my teammates play the guitar, and while he was singing about loving Jesus, I asked him why he loved God. It seemed like a practical question at the time to me, although my teammate probably thought I was a little crazy for asking such a deep question towards a mere babe. His answer, though very simple, astounded us both. He said “I love God because he made all nature! He made all those loud birds,” he pointed to the mass of starlings on the power lines, “and God, He loves all of nature.” At 5, he understands the power of loving Christ for He first loved us.

Finally he starts to get a little tired from all his break-dancing  and plops down beside me in our massive blue bean bag chair. He asks me if i’m gonna be cool when I’m old. I laugh and tell him I hope so. As he picks up a book to read I decide to ask him another question. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” His eyes light up as he tells me he wants to be a Cooker. A Chef. I tell him that sounds like a lot of fun, and we talk about foods that we like. But when I ask him about owning his own restaurant and having other people work for him, he frowns and adamantly shouts “NO!” I was pretty perplexed. “You don’t want to have your own restaurant?” He shakes his head and says no again. “But don’t you want to Have a big restaurant and have people work for you?”. He pauses, putting his little hand atop his head. “No Miss Bella… I wanna work at a restaurant, but I don’t want people to work for me.” I still didn’t get it. “But why?” He lets out an exasperated sigh and says “Because I dont want people to be all like ‘ahw man, I got this man I gotta go work for. I don’t wanna work for this man!’ I wanna work with people so we can say we work together.”

I was left dumbfounded. In the midst of Mission Year and all our discussions about Community, simplicity, Loving God, Loving People, and what it truly means to be a good neighbor…. I find that a 5 year old little boy from what is looked at as one of the worst areas of inner city Houston… has totally grasped and understands what it is that we are trying to learn and achieve ourselves.

God’s messages to us, are usually very simple… we are the ones who make it complicated. Maybe this is why Jesus said “let the little children come to me” and referenced “childlike faith”. Once we get older we have a tendency to view things through a more complicated lens; but children view the world through a very simple format. There is true wisdom in this kind of simplicity…. Out of the mouth of babes.

 

Image credit: Death to the stock Photo

 

bellaIsabella Fout is a Mission Year 2012-’13 Houston alumni & was a 2013-’14 Philadelphia Alum Leader. Bella lives in Philadelphia with her husband Freddie, continually looking for ways to pursue Jesus and love in her community. Bella is passionate about youth and young adult empowerment, reconciliation, and exploring racial identity. Read more from her here.

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