BY CHAQUANA TOWNSEND
As I write yet another blog about the impact the children and parents I work with have had on my life, I write full of joy, thankfulness, and eager anticipation to one day have a family of my own. All I can say is, I am such a blessed woman! My life will never be the same because I am reminded on a daily basis how amazing God truly is when I look into the eyes of the children and parents in my community!
One thing remains evident in my mind: The families in this community are truly a gift! Every smile, every hug, every intimate moment warms my heart and fills me with great joy! Although some days are better than others, I can honestly say that God has brought me to a place where I wholeheartedly enjoy every minute I spend with the families I minister to. The hard moments reveal the sin and brokenness in my own heart that God wants to pull out. The hard moments also reveal that I am not in control, and I am in need of rescue just as much as they are. So let me introduce you to my main point: I will continue to run hard after the Lord while laying down my life for the "little ones" and their families because they are so worth it!
I want to dispel a common belief about inner-city children and families that is erroneous. I also want to share with you what God's says about this false belief.
Those children/people don't care about themselves, so why should anyone else.
One thing that I know for sure is true: Most of the parents and children that I have met who are living in the inner-city care about themselves and what's going on in their environment; however, feelings of hopelessness and frustration can cause them to give up without even trying.
When I talk to men and women as well as children in my neighborhood, they recognize that there is something wrong with their environment and the responses they often have to their environment; nonetheless, they don't know any other way to respond to difficult circumstances. More times than not, people know they shouldn't behave a certain way and comprehend the consequences that follow, but in order to survive, they choose wrongly to save face and uphold an image, or reputation. The "code of the street" is survival at any cost even if it means irreversible consequences for the rest of their lives.
Why do they care? Why should we care?
God has written his law on the hearts of mankind without us even knowing his law (Romans 2:14-15). We know the difference between right and wrong because of the fall of man. Once Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, sin made its way into the world and every human being is affected. Our hearts inherently know when something is "good" or "bad". White or black, suburban or city, saved or unsaved, people recognize that there is something wrong with our world and long for God to intervene and make things right. Creation groans and eagerly anticipates the redemption of the world (Romans 8:18-24).
The fathers, mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, cousins, uncles, etc, they all care about their community. The children long for their parents to love them and care about the things they care about. The families that are broken and affected by the heinous killings of their young men care! The mother and sister of the young boy who can't stay off the street care! Why wouldn't they? Every tear, every sacrifice, every setback, every hardship is worth it because many parents want better for their children. I have not met a parent who didn't realize and understand the need for God to intervene on their behalf.
I have not met a child who did not recognize the consequences of reckless living. The families in this community care about their lives; however, without the help of a Savior and the salvation of their souls, their efforts are in vain. God has sent his people to fight for them, to intercede on their behalf, to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to persevere even when it’s hard! So we press on towards Jesus, actively engaged in the battle for their souls.
Because according to God's word, "They are so worth it"!!!