We returned Sunday night from an 8-day youth mission trip to San Antonio, Texas, and it was simply amazing.
First – I love my youth. I love them, I love them, I love them. They are amazing, beautiful, giving, imperfect humans who sometimes get it right and sometimes get it wrong but their hearts and motives are good. I had such a blast hanging out and working with all of you last week. I could have traveled to San Antonio and back again with you. I’ve missed you the past two days and thank God every day that He gives me the opportunity to share life with you. You inspire me.
Second – I love some children in San Antonio that I never knew existed before last week. I see them in the day and I see them in my dreams and my heart hurts for them. It truly does. I worry about them and wish I could give them a different environment to grow up in. An environment where they were safe and they had plenty of food and clothing. A place where they would have adults loving them and telling them each day how beautiful and special they are. A place where people believed in them and helped them become the best person they could be. An environment where everything around them reminded them of the God that loves them. Some people are born with several hurdles in front of them that others don’t have to jump. I wish it wasn’t so. To Erik – you are gifted and smart. You are here for a purpose. You are better than what you’ve been born into. You are loved and cherished by God. Never forget this.
Third – My heart broke at the Mission Oaks Center for adults with disabilities. I spent the time talking with an older lady who was sentenced to a wheelchair and a disease that stole her memories. We listened to the youth sing. We cried. She shared memories that didn’t make sense to me but communicated something deep in her mind. That place really saddened me as my heart hurt for those who are forgotten and cast to the side in society. Those adults were someone’s mother or father; someone’s son or daughter. Some had not always been the way we found them in that place. Some had lost their ability to function normally along the journey of life. My heart really cannot stand someone’s dignity being taken from them. Nothing makes me angrier than seeing this kind of injustice. Every individual – every adult, every child, every race, every station in life, every homosexual, every heterosexual, every person as a creation of God – deserves to be treated with dignity. Shame and pain on those of us whom treat people otherwise.
Youth and sponsors – you were a breath of fresh air this week in San Antonio. You were the face, the hands, the feet, the shoulders, the heart of Christ in San Antonio.
Now – may we commit to being a breath of fresh air in Jefferson City. May we be the face, the hands, the feet, the shoulders, the heart of Christ in Jefferson City.