I am not sure where the quote ''A picture says a thousand words'' comes from but I couldn't help but post comments that my colleague Brian McConaghy shared on Facebook a few hours ago. But as I read his comments, I continue to stand in awe of our Lord who will use anyone who makes themselves available and how He releases His love in them to give hope to others who have struggled with hopelessness. Read Brian's comments and be blessed!
Last week on the trip to New Brunswick I met many people, elected officials, police and church leaders, business owners etc. but the highlight for me was a visit to a New Brunswick Youth detention center. I spoke to groups of both young women and men. I’m not sure what they expected but I was surprised they would even come to hear me present. Being an ex member of the RCMP I could totally understand if they wanted nothing to do with me.
However as I presented it became clear that the message was for all of us. For no matter how broken, abused and discarded the Children of Cambodia feel they have value – this fact proves a foundation on which they can go on with life – even a life of hope. So too with everyone in the room I was speaking to, inmates and corrections staff alike. No matter what our circumstances there is hope.
I was thrilled by the response. They were able to see past me having been in the RCMP and were able to focus on the kids in Cambodia. Comments like “we thought we had it bad” surprised me - it must be so hard to see beyond your own circumstances when you have lost your freedom. One question from the women stands out -“how can we help?” How do people locked up, with no current income, with many of their own issues to deal with and extremely limited contact with the outside world, help? I did not have an answer so they came up with their own. They committed to colour pictures for the girls in Cambodia that I could carry over on my next trip. What a wonderful expression of kindness towards kids that they have never met but for whom they felt compassion. In their current circumstances they have very little to offer but they offered what they could. As such they are an example to us all. They were creative in thinking up a way to help under circumstances WAY more restrictive and inhibiting than the rest of us have to deal with.
So, ladies, if you get to read this, you are the heroes of my time in New Brunswick. You have set the bar high for the rest of us, who have way more freedom to help. And in all of this, no matter how difficult the circumstances, remember… you are “to die for”. It was both a privilege and honour to meet you all – really! I pray Gods richest blessings on you for restoration to a future of hope knowing that you are valuable.
And for the rest of us in this FB group (all 1361 of us) I would ask that you take time to pray for those in the New Brunswick Youth center that have been such an example of compassion and concern to all of us and such an encouragement to me and to kids of Cambodia.