Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Navajo Land

Last week was one of those weeks where I felt most alive.  Why?  First, I was in a part of the country I love, the desert southwest.  Except for the unfortunate smoke situation in New Mexico, the weather was perfect with upper 80s and less than ten percent humidity.  Second, I was doing what I love - working with kids who have the odds stacked against them because they are American Indian and live on a reservation.  Finally, and most importantly, I was trying to share God.

As wonderful as last week was, I still feel a lingering sadness.  Statistically speaking, many of the beautiful kids I met last week will accomplish little if we measure them from a strictly materialistic, achievement point of view.  Some will not finish school or barely do it.  Some will succumb to peer pressure and join gangs or start drinking and end up living in addiction.  Some will experience physical and mental abuse and become abusers themselves.  Right now, they have such potential and all I can pray is for God to help them dodge all the darkness they will encounter. 

And despite the bleak statistics, there is hope.  I have hope what we did last week might have a lasting impression on some of the kids.  That, they might have hope not necessarily in this world, but in an eternal life where they are free from pain, hunger, and discrimination.  A life filled with God and his graciousness.

There are many things I could write about this experience.  Not all would be positive with regard to how the kids are treated, but I find at least for now the feelings are too raw to share.

All I know is I wish with all my being I could make a positive difference for the kids in Thoreau and the kids in Pine Ridge.


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