The first time I laid eyes on this friend I thought she was the most beautiful child I had ever seen. She has dark black hair, dark eyes and beautiful skin. She is just a beautiful girl, and she is equally beautifully on the inside, she was raised in a Christian home, in Christian school and a strict home alot like mine. So we had alot in common. We have maintained a friendship for over 20 yrs. She even went to Southeastern Bible College the University Kenny and I met at. Her and her husband are wonderful people who have devoted their lives to the ministry. Not the grand and flashy, but the kind that takes years to see the results from. If you are not familiar with the Assemblies of God, which is what I was raised, it is the domination I have chosen to attach myself to, I feel it is not perfect, but it the most Biblically sound and I feel it is were I want my children brought up. The Assemblies has a missions program called sidewalk Sunday school which is a program that brings sunday school to under privileged children. Instead of busing children into the local church, they bring the church to the childrens community. It is sad but alot of the church folk did not want to be "subjected" to these types of children so this was an alternative. Most of these children don't even know who their fathers are so they certainly don't know the proper way to act in a church! Bless the hearts of the grandparents, so many of them are being reared by them and not the parents. So what we would do is on Friday evening we would visit the child in his or her home give them their hand out with their scripture on it and make a connection with them and their family. Now understand, we would go in twos because we would be in the very worse parts of town, the drug and prostitute infested parts of town, it was not a pretty sight. But those were some of the most welcoming homes I have ever been in. Those grandparents were gracious and kind and their homes were clean and neat and we always felt appreciated there. Some were not so clean, and some children broke your heart, no shoes, or shirts and mattress with no sheets, no furniture and parents drunk at 4 in the afternoon. But the child of that drunk parent would wait anxiously for us so they could get their scripture and study for Sunday school the next day. It meant the world to those kids. And it also changed me, it made me a better person. And then the next morning see them at Sunday School which is a truck that is converted into a sound system that we would teach sunday school from. These kids were precious. I can remember Emma just 6 or 7 and she and the little girls were so taken with each others hair, they would spend the entire time fixing and doing each other hair. Kids fit in anywhere you put them, if adult STAY out of their way. Well my beautiful friend and her husband this is the ministry she and her husband had devoted their life to. They had even at their own expense, they both had day jobs, started a church for the older teens and the adults of these children. Well it seemed they just could not matter what they did get ahead financially. She was a tither, she was a giver and she was one of the most unselfish people I have ever met, I just didn't understand it. The church she attended was one of those that preached week by week the message, we don't buy into this recession, we don't sell our things below market value, we are the chosen ones, we are above that mentality, I don't accept this. She would call me crying and say how week by week she would sit and hear these statements and it was killing her spirit little by little, she would pray and say God how do I get the faith that my Pastor has, what is wrong with me, I pray and pray, God increase my faith. And I thought as he was making those statements form the pulpit, the majority of the people sitting in church are the weak and broken and what is the point of statements like, people sitting in those pews losing there homes, good people, people saved by the same grace he is saved by, still losing their homes, still unemployed, it just pokes at an open wound. If that is your circumstance, that is a wonderful things, but lets not boast, at the expense of others. I really had no answer for her, at the time we were still in tact financially, but I thought myself, God I don't understand, the ones who are ministering to the ones who can give nothing, seems to be the ones who struggle the most. But they kept on doing what they felt God had called them to do, that was 20 years ago, and just last summer they married a young couple that had been in Sidewalk sunday that had made a commitment to finish school and stay pure get married and that couple is going into the ministry. So how do you measure success? They lost their home, their vehicles, and they are in a rental house. But thank God that young couple did not lose their faith. This blog so drains me and takes such a toll on me emotionally sometimes I think I just cant do it anymore, but then I talk to someone like my sweet friend and I hang up and I have encouraged her and I thank God, as long as my life is helping someone, even at the expense of a little emotional hurt to myself I will keep doing it. So God, as long as I can do my best to be open and honest to share my life I will continue.