We where blessed to spend much of the week hanging out with our incredible volunteer team. Our entire missionary team took many of our Jr and Sr. high students to Abilene, KS for one of our Travel Tea Days. Basically, these days are silly road trips build on road side attractions with a simple goal creating memories and providing opportunities to share the gospel.
Our travels this week took us to the Eisenhower Presidential Library, The Kansas Auto Racing Museum, a random sculpture at a way station, the Greyhound Dog museum, the Alma Cheese Factory, The Seelye Mansion (My personal favorite), the world’s largest spur, Russell Stover, and a drive by view of the atomic canon. Not only have by kids been singing “I like IKE, you like IKE, everybody likes IKE — For President” all week, but it also opened the door for a great conversation with a new volunteers. This volunteer is thinking about a career in politics. Not only did IKE coordinate the D-Day invasion, but he was also president during Brown vs. Board and many other cultural changing events which have shaped today. Our conversation about civil rights and women’s suffrage allows me to boldly make a case for Christ. I was asked for my opinion of radicalism and religion steaming from our conversation about defining moments in presidents careers. We were objectively talking about the history of war and economics from FDR to present. I answered this challenging questions simply by saying ” I understand that extremists are not blanket representatives of a faith, however, I must believe in a God who values people over self gratification or objectification. Therefore, I must believe in Christ as His selfless sacrifice is a genuine gift with no mechanism in place for one to earn it.” We took many non-believing students with on these two trips. Almost every stop focused on Racing for Christ, Boots walking with Christ, or the influence faith in Christ had on day to day life. Your support and prayers allow us to do this great ministry.
Personal Reflections: Much of the community development work I have been doing the last several months has been forced on networking. The key challenge to achieving many of our current educational goals is the unification of the local churches. This is an audacious goal. My study of IKE’s life and presidency this week has been insightful. He had influence during an impossible time between and during wars. His influence was build on consistency without Kennedy’s charisma, Truman’s brash impulsiveness, FDR’s looming personality, Churchill’s articulate elegance, or the shifty antics of his VP Nixon. IKE was the supreme commander of the Allie forces. Basically, his goal was literally world peace. He created a plan to overcome the impossible AND got a multi-ethnic group of powerful world leaders to all agree on it. The personal cost of D-Day was horrific, the logistics mind boggling, and the cost of failure too high.
Without minimizing an event in history which has very, very few peers, similarities are obvious. In our instant culture, students don’t necessarily have to earn anything; education, basic necessities, luxuries such as bubble tea, socks, technology, etc. The instant nature of culture has stripped the value of the journey and items. Not every student can work for their youtube channel. Success often requires more planning than next week’s content and more mundane dedication than simply reviewing a toy created by “the big company”. I believe there is so much cultural noise that the competition for attention has bleed into church life.
Bottom Line: IKE unified world leaders by clearly laying out the problem, presenting a solution that could easily fail with one small leak of information to the enemy, then was courageous enough to try it.
I’m excited to begin studying the leadership style of Eisenhower as I’m sure there are valuable lessons to be learned. Lessons which will help us effectively advance to gospel to every student in Topeka!
Please Pray for the exciting things happening in our ministry, notably VERGE, our new 6000 sq ft homework center, collaborative ministry center, concert venue, student business launch pad, student art gallery, and staff offices.