I got a couple of text messages from a good friend this AM. It went something like this, “Bro, so you aren’t going to tell me the next awareness campaign?” I responded, “I thought I already told you…” Long story short,
Nonetheless, the text messaging conversation went back and forth for a while, and ended up inspiring me to go through with it even more… Honestly, the more I think about this particular campaign, I get even more nervous about doing it. I am normally a very adventurous person, but 90 DAYS is a long time. In fact, it will take 2,160 hours to complete!
I am literally 22 DAYS away, and it will not be easy! But, as I think about the possible impact it will have on impoverished families and children, the more God strengthens me. I am praying that God uses this next campaign to raise awareness, reach people, and mobilized people to love others the way that God loves people. I will release soon.
Below is a fun fact about the campaign:
Today, I’m sitting here thinking about how intense and how long it is going to take me to complete the third 3rd awareness campaign.
In fact, I have shared the idea with many close friends, and some people honestly think it is
nuts. Well, I really don’t think it is nuts… I just think it will make a strong statement for all the children who struggle with generational poverty, lack, and broken families. I only have 24 more DAYS left… I will reveal this Sunday what it is…
Pray that this campaign changes others, changes me, and helps us #lovebeyondwalls!
I’m up… I’m thinking… I’m filled with compassion… My heart is racing really fast as I think about the next awareness campaign… It’s literally 5AM, and the prayer request I received 48 hours ago now is pushing me to go through with it!
The prayer request came from a mother in another state that is battling domestic violence, verbal abuse, and little support for her children. And guess what? She wrote this email from a hospital… Why? Because she is pregnant and is close to delivering another child
(did I mention she’s married?)
In fact, her and her children are without many items and is being overtaken by abuse, poverty, and lack. This breaks my heart knowing this… This breaks my heart knowing that she thought enough of #lovebeyondwalls to reach out for prayer…And, I DID JUST THAT… I prayed that God grants her and her children safety!
Do I know this lady? No. BUT, I do know the pain the children may feel. I know what it feels like to have been around this type of brokenness. Can you relate?
Nonetheless, as I read her prayer request in the form of questions, I was moved to tears. Imagine getting this type of email over the weekend. You don’t believe me it brought me to tears? You read her words below (PLEASE EXCUSE THE EXPLICIT WORDS):
Courage: how many times have you verbally abused your pregnant wife? Called her b*tches, hoes, dumb mother f*ckers? How about in front of company? Ever had sex so rough that she ended up in hospital or weeping uncontrollably? What about promised her you’d never work if it meant paying bills instead of buying beer? Oh what about pulled her hair? Maybe calling her seven year old son a bastard or bi*ch as$ m.f. to his face was hurtful enough? Maybe you ran off unannounced for two or three days with the house and car keys? Those girls were just useful for the money they could give you, right? You didn’t want them for sex though? Hickies in your 30’s, but who gave u those? What about the ‘line or two’ order cocaine habit that keeps you from working and constantly falling urine tests? Did her dad suggest they work it out when she told him all about it? Well, this wife has had all that and more, but is too broken to leave. At the end of my rope. Pray for me as many church folk advise me to stick through this. My pregnancy caused me to not be able to work out pay my own bills. unemployment has run out, and with 9.5 weeks left, my cervix is shortening, I’m on bed rest, and baby may come early. All this while my husband constantly leaves me alone with no car and we have not paid any bills so eviction is eminent. Lord, I need Your help just as You’ve come through before. Said, You’d never leave me nor forsake me.
You may be asking, why would you share this? Firstly, I shared it in a way not to reveal the person’s identity. Second and last, I shared it because it is reality, it is what people are going through in this broken world, and I am saddened by the advise that was given to her by “church folk.” She stated that she was at the end of her emotional rope from being abused, cheated on, and some people told her to stay…………… Does this make you cringe?
Of course we have been able to connect this lady with one of our partners to recuse her from this situation, but I am still left with the question, “Who else?”
“What other women and children are experiencing this type of mistreatment and lack?”
“How many more children are suffering with this type of poverty and brokenness?”
Better yet, “What will I do?”
For the last 48 hours, I have read the above prayer more than 100 times… And, it bothers enough to act. Can I save the world? No. But I can zero in on children, and help to give children a voice who experience the residue of brokenness? Yes.
In another email the lady expressed that her children were without clothes, necessities, and other items that kids should have. This broke my heart even more because children never ask to be in situations like this, and still deserve to have their basic needs met.
Therefore, on behalf of this lady, her children, and many other families that I have encountered being plagued by dysfunction, life circumstances, and poverty– I am going to do something.
In 25 days, we are launching our third awareness campaign to raise resources for children who battle brokenness and poverty. Pray for this lady, her children, and the many other children out there battling…
Yesterday, our #plantlove campaign started!
Ironically enough, it was
“April Fools” day. You know… the national holiday where people pull pranks on their closest friends & relatives? LOL.
Well, yesterday felt “foolish” is a sense. Why? Because it is unbelievable and humbling that we are taking steps forward to get planted in our office/storage and city of ATL/College Park. Personally, I am excited and blown away by God’s ability to provide. It does’t make sense at all.
DAYS 1 & 2 have been focused on getting the parking lot cleaned. There were many leaves, sticks, and old trash in the lot from the previous occupant. Also, we have taken these two days to get several things cut on — like power, gas, phone, and other small items. Currently, there is a little waiting period that came up unexpectedly.
We are awaiting the final inspections, and clearances for our organization to be planted in the headquarters (officially).
However, during this waiting period, I’m learning three lessons as a leader during the process. Here goes:
1) Remain focused on the bigger picture — The big picture for us involves serving, helping, and reaching people who are under resourced, under valued, and overlooked. This is our “why” behind our “what.” Nothing more, nothing less. When you stay focused on the bigger picture, it makes your process worth it.
2) Be open to grow — When you venture out to do something greater than yourself, it will demand that you grow in areas that seem uncomfortable to you at first. But, in order for your work to grow, you must continue to grow yourself. I have personally increased my listening and reading capacity (x2). Additionally, you must use every experience (in the process) as an opportunity to grow.
3) See it through — The process is uncomfortable at times, but you must have a resolve in your heart to “see it through.” This is the place where you refuse to look backwards. With the work we do with #lovebeyondwalls, we have a “see it through” mentality. Why? Because we truly value the work God has us doing.
Below is a back of the building shot! Every day in April, we are getting closer and closer to getting planted. Continue to pray that God guides our work.