(f)aith in practice

23 10 2012

I am awed, inspired, and drawn into true worship of our creator by the music of Gungor.  Clearly facebook knows this fact about me as on a day last March, one of those annoying side ads simply stated, “If you like Gungor then you may like JennyandTyler“.  Got me – the one and only time I’ve clicked on one of those ads.  I’m glad I did because I did like Jenny and Tyler.  So much so that I looked to see where they would be playing and found that they would be on the campus of USC the following week.  The concert was being hosted by a student group bringing awareness to three ministries in which students were involved.

I couldn’t find anyone interested in going to the concert with me, so uncharacteristically, I went by myself.  Prior to the concert, I was drawn to a table where a beautiful young lady was enthusiastically sharing her dream of empowering Zambian widows to support themselves and their families by learning sewing skills and financial accountability.  I went on to find out that this college senior had founded Clothed in Hope and planned to return to Zambia in July.  During the concert, she shared this short video

The concert was amazing and as I left I called my friend Debbie and talked endlessly about the beauty of the music and the young lady, Amy Woodell.

Since that evening, I’ve had the joy of sharing a meal with Amy and hearing her story.  I somewhat expected to hear the usual Sunday School story, but what I heard was a story of real life, grace, redemption and hope.  I love how our younger generation just doesn’t play games.  There is something so appealing about authenticity.

I purchased a sewing machine for the Clothed in Hope group to honor my Mom and watched as Amy did go back to Zambia.  I’ve followed the stories of the women as they’ve grown from unsure to confident.  Their hope is contagious and these women who have so little now joyfully and generously give their time, supplies, and newly learned skills to train women who have less than them in a remote village.

Yesterday, I received a package in the mail.  Inside were bracelets, lovingly and skillfully made by the women of Clothed in Hope.  There was something so powerful and humbling about holding in my hand the fruit of what had been the dream of a 22 year old just months before. Hope and love.

I wish I could craft an eloquent word picture of this beautiful story, but thankfully, Amy has done that for us.  Take some time – read every blog entry here . You will be glad you did.  It’s so easy to become cynical and weary in the world of American Christianity.  Thank you Jesus for using Amy and the precious ladies from Clothed in Hope to refresh my soul.

PS – I went to a Gungor concert and small group Q & A with Michael Gungor this summer.  If you ever have the opportunity to go – GO!  It’s not your typical Christian concert.  Talk about a breath of fresh air!

PSS – We were honored to host Jenny and Tyler at our home for a house show in August.  What a special night and I’d do it again tomorrow.