Monday, May 24, 2010

The Kingdom of God Breaks Through in Missio Lux, part 3

John Kher, a Lost Boy from Sudan, with two friends at Hoops of Hope!

Friday afternoon I walked into Pine Lake Middle School's gym along with several hundred other people from the Eastside of Seattle. Most of the people were kids and teens who carried basketballs in their arms.

Why? We were going to Hoops of Hope, a fundraiser for Seeds of Hope!

Seeds of Hope is our biggest missio whose mission is to help educate orphans from Sudan so that they can go back into their villages to rebuild them from the ravages of civil war. Currently, Seeds of Hope has 35 kids in boarding school in Nakuru, Kenya. We have graduated two people; a young woman and a young man. The young man is back in Sudan teaching school, bringing about change in his area.

Hoops of Hope was a perfect way to elevate the mission of Seeds of Hope. It was a fun thing for families to participate in and a great way for kids to get exercise while they thought about helping some children halfway around the world that they had never met.

The challenge for our area in Seattle is to remember that the majority of the world doesn't live like we do. We drive by huge houses in fancy cars and see very little poverty around us. We have one of the lowest crime rates in the state. We go to top schools. Life is relatively calm for us in comparison to many other parts of the world.

So, how did Hoops of Hope work?

Every participant either formed their own page or joined a team that had a fundraiser page and sent it off to their friends and family. They got sponsors to give them donations for the number of baskets they made.

When everyone arrived, we watched a former NBA pro, Swen Nater, shoot free throws. He threw 100 free throws and made 94 of them. The kids were then challenged to go make baskets themselves so they divided up into teams and started to shoot! The two gyms were filled with kids shooting free throws over and over.

Our missio community, Arbors, had some of the youngest participants. Our friends Max and Connor and Heather shot at the small hoop and made some impressive shots!

I was a greeter. I loved greeting and taking pictures of the participants entering the building and hearing how they had come to engage Hoops of Hope. They all seemed to have different answers, so the word about Seeds of Hope seems to be out in our area!

Missio Lux is all about a dual mission in everything we do: We seek to make a difference in the missio that we have chosen, but we also seek to impact the people around us by providing opportunities for individuals, children and families to have meaningful activities that will help build character, memories, hearts of service and most of all, a heart for Jesus.

When we do the things that Jesus created us to do, our heart enlarges within us and we begin to resemble him more and more.

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