in our talks as a family and ministry team here at BVSA, God often reminds us that sometimes, when things get bad enough, it takes "generational turnover" in order for real change to take place. so many examples in scripture speak to that fact. and while its an encouragement during times of frustration, its also a daunting thought.
one friend shared with me a story about an unrelated conversation he had with a friend of his recently. they were talking about how employees in certain places, like hospitals and banks, have to cover up their tattoos while on the job. one of them asked "i wonder when that will change". after some thought, they determined that it would probably change when the bosses are the ones with tattoos.
get where he was going?
another friend, experienced in tough cross-cultural missions, put a similar encouragement this way:
"What you're doing with the young men you lead will change all that! I'm sorry but you'll just have to wait. And if it's any consolation, Paul was most probably beheaded before Corinth got straightened out."
ha! another "encouraging yet daunting" thought!
these encouragements are SO appreciated. this is the love and support of a community of believers, albeit long-distance community!
and here's why the thugs don't much matter anyway. (in case you didn't read that particular blog, by "thugs" i am talking about the set-in-their-ways, beat-your-wife-and-kids, opposed-to-the-gospel, men of of our village). as frustrating as they may be, the thugs aren't going to stall our momentum! check out these highlights from just the last week:
- pato (17yrs old) intervened as his brother-in-law was beating his sister a few days ago. despite his own mom yelling at him to stay out of it, that "he has the right to beat her if he wants to", pato couldn't help it. james 4:17 was ringing in his years from our devotions that week. if i know the right thing to do, and i don't do it, i sin. so with his own family against him, he jumped in. and he is one strong kid!
- following the altercation, pato came up to "youth night" in the gym - he was crying and distraught. allan and wilmer met him at the door. they prayed with him and assured him that he did the right thing. reassurance and prayer was exactly what he needed in that moment - and he got it from 2 older rhino graduates!
- jhoni jumped in to stop his older brother freddy from beating his wife. again, amazingly, against the wishes of his mom. she screamed "its not your place to get involved" as he received the blows intended for his sister-in-law.