After the Ministry Triage
I wrote about the concept of ministry triage, which means that you have to pick and choose who you can serve with the limited resources you have. Because the truth is, there is only so much that one person can do. You look around, assess the situation, take a deep breath, and do what you can.
I left that last post on somewhat of a negative note, because triage means that you have to ignore some folks. You might ignore the mild cases, where the “patients” will survive anyway, and you might have to ignore the severe cases and just let that person “die.”
As I said in the case of the 5th grader, he may be “just a statistic” that we have to let go, due to our limited resources. The truth is, the odds are against many kids here. It’s not just the negative statistics that I list here and here and here; it’s the culture and the mindset that perpetuates those realities. Can you imagine what it’s like to grow up in an environment where few people expect you to succeed? What’s it like to try to get by when bad things are all around you?
Last year, a 2nd grade boy told me, “I’m not going to college. It’s too expensive.” At such a young age, why was this even a concern in his mind?
We Need You
Yes, what these 5th grade and 2nd grade boys need is the power of the gospel to change their hearts and minds. But what they also need are mentors (just like this guy told me last year). These kids, who are fighting against all odds, need people who care. They need mentors to:
- Show they care for them, by listening to them and spending time with them.
- Give them a vision for success.
- Tell them “Don’t Quit!” when they make a mistake.
- Teach them what it looks to be a man, like to protect and provide for a woman, not to abuse and take from them.
- Be a person of influence who can teach them to keep their shoes tied and their pants up with a belt, and who can help them fill out a college application.
This is where you come in. You could be a part of this. Whether you are working in the school system to Improve the School Report Card, or you work another job but volunteer your time with kids, we need you. You could have an life-changing, poverty-breaking, and eternally-hopeful effect on a child’s life.
You can do this. It might be (at first?) a one- or two-day visit, just to see what Allendale is like. It might be a weekend or week-long service opportunity. Maybe it’s a summer internship for a college student that you know. Or maybe it’s moving here, to be a part of long-term change.
Just something for you to think about.
image courtesy of isafmedia via flickr