…is like sunshine and rain…”
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
The ebbs and flows of ministry are just like what soul band Frankie Beverly and Maze sang: there’s dualities of life — joy and pain is like sunshine and rain. You can’t have one without the other.
Some days are painful, like the one we experienced yesterday.
Some days are joyful, like the one we had today!
We went back to the Outreach House to see how the kids we worked with yesterday were doing.
Joy was bursting out of the Outreach House gates! I was amazed at how the kids seemingly had not experienced something extremely traumatic just 24 hours earlier.
They were laughing.
They were playing.
They were learning.
…and still navigating the world with new shoes.
I watched as four boys were trying to direct each other on how to put on their shoes. I couldn’t understand them, but they were directing one kid to put the shoe on the right foot. The other boy told a smaller child that he had to put his foot under the elastic strap, not over it.
Isn’t that something?
The thing about joy is that it is deeply rooted within you. It is often not contingent on external factors — that would be what we call happiness. Happiness comes and goes. Joy lasts.
These kids have joy. Despite their socioeconomic disadvantages, lack of things we take for granted like running water and clean clothes, they took their pain in stride and found the joy that was deeply rooted within them. Resilience is one hell of a motivator.
Tomorrow we will go to two villages in the rural parts of Jinja to remove Jiggers from the feet of some school-aged children.
The cycle of joy and pain will begin again.
Life is cyclical like that, you know?
There will be more stories of pain and brokenness. More images of wailing children who are in need of healing.
Until then, we will sit with joy for a while.
Many of you have been asking about tangible ways you can give back! Here are THREE ways you can do something right now:
1. Go to www.solehope.com and sign up for the email list. For EVERY person that signs up for the Sole Hope email list, $1 will be donated in your name. No catches. Nothing else to do. Just submit your name and email!
2. Host a shoe cutting party! Your school, class, church, friends, family can do this with little to nothing. Old pairs of jeans. Fabric scissors. Patterns from Sole Hope. EASY!
3. Make a donation to Sole Hope today. Everything is tax-deductible!
On the joy chase,
Photo credits: Gary S. Chapman + Kayla Cervenka
Alisha L. Gordon is a prolific writer and teacher whose practical approach to faith and culture has served as a platform for both social and religious engagement. A 2004 graduate of Spelman College and currently matriculating as a 3rd year Masters of Divinity student at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Alisha’s diverse body of work serves as the foundation for both her unique teaching style and commitment to reframing our understanding of the Church and community.
With nearly 15-years of journalism experience, Alisha’s writing has been featured in high profile publications such as The Huffington Post, Atlanta Tastemaker Magazine, UrbanFaith.com,RollingOut.com, Upscale Magazine, and others. The diversity of her writing allowed for her to pen articles for higher education and religious institutions such as Emory University and Atlanta-based Impact Church.
Her work with organizations like Fearless Dialogues, a grassroots a grass-roots initiative that is committed to creating safe spaces for hard conversations that help see gifts in people, hear values in stories, and work toward transformation and change in self and others. When not using her pen to change the landscape of the world around her, Alisha leads praise and worship at Impact Church in Atlanta and parents a loquacious 10-year-old, Ashli.
Read more on her blog HERE.