And endurance builds character, which gives us a hope that will never disappoint us.
After ten years of ministry in eastern Kentucky, people often ask me about where I find hope here amidst all of the poverty, lack of jobs, apathy etc. I reply that the three college students who have graduated and are working and the four who are currently at Berea College who will graduate in 2018 give me hope. These seven students came from poor homes that involved drug use, no encouragement or little emotional support to graduate and certainly no financial help.
They are living proof to their peers and family members that you can go to college and get a good job if you really want to do so. Our children and teens need role models and these young graduates are the new role models for Powell and Owsley counties. The younger generation does not see a lot of hope in their future. They must have the courage to leave their comfort zone of family and friends and go elsewhere to further their education and then possibly even move away from their home counties in order to obtain employment.
At this season of the year we hear the words of hope, peace, love and joy through music, commercials and seasonal cards. Proverbs23:11 says, “Listen to instruction and do your best to learn.”
I am hoping that because of these seven young adults more will follow in their footsteps to get a college education or become certified in a skilled trade. The more educated and working young and middle adults that we have in eastern Kentucky, the more hope I have that we will have thriving communities and servant churches. That is transformational development for these small, struggling counties.
Romans 12:12 states “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” NEV
Revelation 5:4- “And endurance builds character, which gives us a hope that will never disappoint us. All of this happens because God has given us the Holy Spirit, who fills our hearts with his love.”
It has certainly taken a lot of endurance to work with so many people who have no hope and to try to instill in the teenagers some hope for their lives. But HOPE is there because Jesus was born during this Holy Season to give us HOPE.
In this season of HOPE and JOY may we always share with those around us the true hope of the season and for eternity.
CBF Field Personnel serving in Eastern Kentucky