We've all had to let go of the future. Personally, we've each had to let go of some imagined future for ourselves. Quite early on, I had to let go of a future in which I played professional basketball. It just wasn't in the cards :)
More serious examples, though, such as a divorce, an illness, or a lost pregnancy can rip an imagined future out of our hands. A future we planned for, hoped for, and longed for can disappear in an instant.
So much of the work of Raising Up Hope in Uganda, is literally just that...raising hope. RUHU casts a vision of a bright future for kids who could not imagine that future for themselves. When the young girls at RUHU see Jackie serving as the Head of the School or see Rachel leading as the head of the Social Work Department, they can begin to imagine a future for themselves. When the boys at RUHU who grew up without their own fathers see William care for his wife and girls and hear him talk about how they, too, can have a future as a loving father, they begin to catch a vision for a full and flourishing life.
The pandemic has muddied the future and made many of the kids at RUHU question whether there really is a bright future for them. But in the picture above, a staff member is sitting with some of the older boys taking part of a mentorship program. RUHU is also running campaigns around "mindset management" and has started a "success coaching program." They're addressing the crisis of hope brought on by the pandemic. They are living into their name Raising up Hope more than ever.
A favorite quote of mine about the future is from theologian Justo Gonzalez who said, "It is a poor memory that only works one way, only remembering the past and not remembering the future." What Gonzelez means is that God has not only worked in the past, but has promised to be present in the future. It is God who holds the future and pulls us forward into it. When we only remember the past, we can get nostalgic and lose hope in the future. But when we remember that God is not only behind us, but before us and out ahead of us, then we can move forward. We can keep raising up hope, remembering that God holds the future. We don't.
Grace and Peace,