Sarah calls it a work horse. I think it is more like Cinderella’s magic horse and carriage. Regardless, a little blue car is whisking me away to a place where dreams can come true.
Only the place I am going doesn’t look anything like Prince Charming’s castle.
Truth be told, it looks like a trash heap.
In a way, it is. An abandoned- some say haunted- school in the middle of a riotous gypsy community is both a dumping ground for refuse and a public toilet.
But Sarah doesn’t see it that way.
The rotting mattresses, the excrement, the spoiled food are simply obstacles hiding a treasure. A school. A playground. A place where children can skip rope and play basketball. A school filled with teachers and students, learning, laughing, loving, and growing.
Sarah, like Cinderella’s godmother, sees what is hidden underneath. She sees a future. A place of sanctuary for an entire community. She sees Hope.
How many of us see life this way?
That broken family member- the one whose life, like a tsunami, wreaks devastation wherever he goes- do we see a mess or do we see the very image of our Lord in his face? Do we see a future? Do we see hope?
God calls us to see beyond the physical. He calls us to see through his eyes. To see as God sees allows us to dream, to purse those dreams, to Hope.
But seeing beyond the natural is not natural.
We must learn to see hope where hope has not previously lived. Remembering my past as well as my deepest hopes and dreams awakens me to the knowledge that people, places, and circumstances are often more than meets the eye.
Whether we look like a trash heap or not, we are all tragically broken. Fortunately, the all-knowing, perfect eyes of love look down and call us worthy. They offer us redemption and a future. They offer us hope. And unlike Cinderella’s godmother’s magic, the transformation we receive in Christ won’t fade away as the clock ticks past midnight.
My friend, Sarah Wheway serves as a missionary with Hellenic Ministries. She leads the Hope Ministry which includes the Hope Center, a maternity home for women facing a crisis pregnancy, and the Hope School, a place where children belonging to one of Greece’s Roma communities can receive basic education while learning about Jesus.
Click here to learn more about these ministries and how you can partner with Sarah and her team.
Update February 19, 2018: John and I now serve in Greece alongside Hellenic Ministries and Sarah! In an effort to share the vision of hope and to inform our supporters and friends about Petelouda, this post has been re-shared with an update about the ministry on our website (johnandamypatton.com). Click here to read how God shaped and grew Sarah’s seed of hope.