Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Worth Much More Than 1000 (Part 2)

In yesterday's blog I posted a picture (the one above) and left the interpretation up to each individual reader with a promise to reveal more details today. There are specifics which can't be determined without some background information and even then there are observations which vary from person to person. I think it validates the idea of the power of our own perception.

I took this picture several years ago on one of our mission trips to Arizona. This particular photo is on the White Mountain Apache Reservation at a mission we partner with called Apache Youth Ministries (AYM). They have a facility named "The Kennel" which is used to minister to youth in the Apache tribe after schools and provide assistance. They work to develop leadership skills, help with academics, show them new paths of hope, and lead them closer to Christ.

This fence surrounds their building and whether it serves to help keep people in or out depends on how you view it. I think it serves as a line of demarcation that lets the Apache youth know this is a safe place to let down their guard without fear of ridicule or abuse. You can view the reservation through the fence because we don't want to shut out the world around them, but want to help them learn to live in it in a healthy, God-honoring way. The focus on the fence is crisp in contrast to the background. Sometimes it is difficult for these youth (and the faithful people that serve them) to stay zoned in on what matters most. They have entered in through this gate and will soon leave and step back into the reality of their personal world.

This picture is worth so much more than 1000 words to me because I know the underlying story and the people it represents. I see great potential, devastating disappointment, and life-giving joy all contained in this one simple photo. Keeping things like this in front of us can remind us of the moments we contribute to.

If you are interested in contributing to mission work with the Apache in Arizona, you can contact AYM directly at www.apacheyouth.com or contribute to our next mission trip through PayPal and my email address acportwood@gmail.com.

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