We had a surprise visit the other day.
Sarah and I were standing outside of the mission and "R" pulled up in his truck. "R" is young man who used to come to our Bible club years ago.
He seemed excited to see us. We hadn't seen him in quite some time so we were thrilled to see him as well.
He said that he had come to visit his mom and decided to stop by to see us as well. We warmly greeted him and asked what he had been doing lately. He answered that he was living in Algood with some friends. Algood is a town about 15 min. away from us.
He was now working at McDonalds and had saved up enough money to buy this truck. It wasn't anything fancy. Just an old red truck. But "R" was proud of it. It was his!
After a few more minutes of conversation "R" said that he had to go and pulled away.
Sarah and I both looked at each other. We were speechless, but we both knew what the other was thinking.
"R" HAD ESCAPED!
He had escaped the projects!
So many times we find that living in a low income housing area is generational. Generation after generation kids grow up there and then end up living there themselves. That's all they've known. They don't know any better. They don't know that there is a world out there that is different than the world they live in. They see the struggles that their parents (or parent, or grandparent(s), or aunt and uncle) go through and they think that life is hopeless. They are destined to live there as well.
Sarah and I have always tried to teach them that, with God's help, they can escape. God has a wondrous, special plan for each one of them. Perhaps God wants them to be a minister or missionary. Maybe God wants them to be successful business men and women and use their money and influence to tell others about Him. Could some of them be future doctors or nurses? Or, maybe a teacher? If they obey God's calling, God can use them to do mighty things.
Sarah tries to teach the mothers and grandmothers that things don't have to be the same way for their children that it was for them.
It's hard to break the mold. It's difficult to break out of generational curse that has been on their family for years. But, with God's help, they can break free!
Later that day, as I was driving through the projects, I saw "R's" mother and sister sitting on their front porch. I stopped to talk for a minute. I mentioned that "R" had stopped by to see us. She told us that there were two reasons for his visit that day. One, to see her...and two, to stop by and see us.
When I got home I told Sarah what "R's" mom had said. Again, we were silent. Then tears began to stream down Sarah's face.
With God's help "R" had escaped!
And Sarah cried.