I have had a sweet little girl on my mind for the last few days. Her name is Zoe and she is the daughter of Josh and Danielle, founders of Galveston Urban Ministries. We took our church youth group there for the first time for our mission trip last summer and Trent took them again this past spring break. Trent took the Mission Waco youth group on a mini mission trip down to Galveston last weekend and told me all about it when he came back. At one point he mentioned that Zoe tagged along with them for some parts of it. "She is so cute. Oh my goodness she is so cute." That put cute Zoe on my mind. Then we actually got to see Zoe, her little brother Zane, and Josh and Danielle at the Mission Waco Thanksgiving lunch for the homeless where we volunteered yesterday, since they were back home for the holiday. So that made me think about sweet Zoe even more.
I thought about Zoe's life, the experiences she will have and the things she will learn as she grows up as the child of two parents in full time urban ministry.
Zoe will understand the meaning of hard work, and lots of work, because she has watched her dad work with his own hands alongside others to restore the hurricane damaged buildings that GUM purchased to be their program facilities.
Zoe will learn that getting off at a certain time and having regular days off aren't on the top of the list in a Kingdom of God centered life, because she has seen her dad prioritize any little chunks of time he can with his family even as he goes 27 days straight without a true day off...and still have God given energy to continue. She will see that committing to furthering the Kingdom is not a day job, it is your whole lifestyle, your whole being.
Zoe will not be wary of the rough side of town, because she and her family purposefully live in the rough side of town.
Zoe will not be enamored with worldly possessions because her family lives on a Kingdom of God budget. She will remember the time their lawnmower got stolen as the time their lawnmower got "donated to the neighborhood", because her dad shrugged his shoulders and moved on.
Zoe will not see color. She will not see race. She will not see class. She will simply see other children, other adults, neighbors, playmates, children of God who are fearfully and wonderfully made, some of whom are doing just fine and some of whom need a helping hand and an assurance that God loves them.
I am pretty confident of these things because almost thirty years ago Zoe's dad, Josh, was being brought up as a small child just like he and Danielle are now bringing up Zoe. Josh's parents, Jimmy and Janet, purposefully moved into a rough part of town, planted a new ministry and devoted their life to furthering the Kingdom of God in Waco, Tx.
Jimmy and Janet planted and grew Mission Waco.
Josh and Danielle planted and are growing Galveston Urban Ministries.
I wonder where sweet Zoe will be planted when she is grown.