Launching a non-profit organization is nothing if not daunting. The enormous responsibility of it does not escape me. After the initial flurry of activity and excitement wears off - the reality of the tremendous task ahead strikes. But I have always made it a practice not to complain about how things are done unless I have a suggestion for how I can help make them better. For many years I have been burdened with a deep desire to share my faith with the world. But the traditional way that is done has not worked well for me.
The outlets I found within the confines of the church walls felt restrictive and I found it far too easy to immerse myself in church life and church people. Before I knew it the majority of my friends were church friends and even though I planned events designed to invite the world into my church - quite often few people came and the events left me feeling unsatisfied and restless.
I faced some very difficult times these past few years. In the midst of being homeless and incredibly sad, my friend Kim unexpectedly and very generously reached out in kindness and paid for a hotel room for my daughter, Maddy, and me to stay for two weekends in a row. She wanted to give us some time to ourselves to relax and be together.
Upon our arrival the first night we stayed there we were surprised to find a laundry basket (which I needed) filled with goodies and clothes and other gifts. Kim had connected with another friend, Reese, and they decided to bless us with that surprise.
It is not so much the specific things we got I remember (except the laundry basket) as it is the lift it gave to my emotions to know that people were out there in the world who cared about Maddy and me. Not only were people out there, but God used those ladies to remind me in a tangible way He was there, watching over us. That action restored my hope and gave me strength during some dark days.
It is not often I have found myself in the position to give an unexpected blessing to someone else. I cherish the opportunity when it presents itself. And I see The Torch as my chance to be an unexpected blessing to other people. It is my desire to be the bright spot in someone else’s dark day. I won’t necessarily have a laundry basket full of goodies to give away every time (I won’t say I will never have one, because you never know with God) but I will have a hot meal, a smile, a listening ear and a plan to be the brightest light shining in the neighborhood that day. I believe I can make a difference for people and so I must.
I have high hopes for The Torch and the future looks incredibly bright! Right now we are in such early stages and are only beginning to see the potential for the good that can be done and how hope can be restored where there is little or none. When I feel daunted by the task of raising $25,000 to purchase a food truck, I pray and look to the future because Hope is real and my life is a testimony to that Truth.
I hold my chin high. We will have a food truck, we will build up a network of tutors, counselors, hair stylists, plumbers, carpenters and whatever else we need to meet the needs of our fellow human beings, we will see lives changed and hope kindled. We can and we will!