Advent Reflection: A promise of a bright future

I had a student named Hope, and each time we would greet one another I would point my index finger in her direction and say “Hope!” and she would respond “Gotta have it.” Hope—I can’t imagine living without it.

A child is born, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger because there was no room in the inn.  Was there ever a day God gifted us with greater hope?  I’d give the resurrection a close second.  For Hope is an essential part of Faith. It is the reason to live each day with wild and crazy hopes for tomorrow.

Each day at UrbanPromise ministries throughout the world, we see in the eyes of children and youth, beauty and the endless possibility to fulfill God’s plan for each of us.   We see the promise of a better day and a brighter future. I learned this early in my days at UrbanPromise…

She was angry and often miserable…I would wonder why she would sign up for all those Trekker trips in the early days. Was her mission to make me miserable? As I got to know more about her I learned she had been abandoned by her Mother and there was no Father in the picture. She was failing in school, and didn’t seem to even care. She had given up…she was without hope.  Yet she kept coming on those Treks.

But in time she began to feel safe and I could see a childlike playfulness emerge…at first, I began a playful tease in return, until she allowed me to get to know her and the challenges in her life. Those Treks took her to places she never imagined and experiences that allowed her to dream of what could be. She graduated from high school and went onto advance vocational education. That was more than ten years ago, we keep in touch for we both owe so much to each other.  We gave each other Hope!     

A child is born, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manager, because there was no room in the inn…and the world changed.  May you have a hope filled Christmas!

Peace & Joy,

Jim Cummings
Director of Experiential Learning

About Jim
Jim once spent 6 months taking weekly voice lessons so he could sing the Ave Marie in Latin at his nephew’s wedding. He also lived inside a Drive-in movie theater. Jim is better know around UrbanPromise for founding UrbanTrekkers, UrbanPromise’s expeditionary education program. The program provides hands-on learning and journey-based experiences to around 100 youth each year. Please contact Jim if you are interested in booking him for an upcoming wedding.