|Lynn Byers and a young charge at Grace Orphanage|
Meet some friends of mine. Not a single one of them has hit their 30th birthday yet they are living lives of high impact. Lynn Byers is a member of my church in Landisville. A young lady of incredible spiritual sensitivity, Lynn graduated from Pittsburgh, earned an R.N. and went to work in the ER at Allegheny General Hospital. But right now she is on her second short term mission assignment in a year in Haiti. When she arrived in Haiti, she spent 18 days at Grace Orphanage before moving to hospital in Northern Haiti. Now she has moved to Adventist Hospital in Port-au-Prince. She has a blog you would benefit from visiting BYERS. I want you to hear an observation she made recently. “I am glad to be here- through the frustrations and the joys. I know I’m not going to make any great changes in Haiti, but just little ones. It is an experience that will shape the rest of my life. I am so thankful to have such supportive friends, family, and church family.”
It is amazing to me when I hear someone say that they find joy in service. I wonder how many of us who are older would see doing small things in Haiti as a major investment in our future.
Then there’s Andrew Draper. I’ve known Andrew since he was a child. Now he is married with two children, a seminary degree under his belt. A magnificent musician, Andrew has chosen instead to be the pastor of a church in the slums of Muncie IN. The church is called Urban Light and it is a faith community aimed at ministering to the “least of these” in that Indiana city. Its Facebook Page announces:
“Urban Light is an inner-city church in Muncie, IN that exists to reconcile people to God and to each other by joining Jesus Christ in his reconciliation of all things.”
Urban Light is a multi-racial community that helps people find unity and help for their spirit, their relationships, their physical needs – through worship, counseling, community building, and activism – changing lives for people who are a world away from the middle class affluence in which Andrew grew up. Link to; URBAN LIGHT
What makes a young man choose on of our nation’s troubled communities, raise his family in its midst, eschewing the personal and professional benefits he could have had in a middle class congregation in a nice place somewhere else in the Midwest? Perhaps it’s because Andrew, like others of his generation have decided to take seriously Jesus’ words, “The Son of has come not to be served, but to serve.”
Ironically, these are not the only persons of the the bridger generation who have chosen this path. In fact, despite the narcissism of their baby boomer parents, we are finding that younger adults want to live lives that significant rather than pursuing material success.
Maybe there’s hope for our world yet.