But pursuing God’s plan—doing the good works He’s prepared in advance for us to do—requires more than a single “YES.” It requires saying “YES” again and again to an ever-unfolding series of opportunities to join God in what He’s doing in the world around us. And when we choose to say “YES” to these opportunities, the world is changed for the better…and we’re changed for the better, too.
I recently saw a video about a Coast Guardsman who 10 years after Hurricane Katrina was reunited with the young girl he had rescued from a rooftop in New Orleans. They were both guests on a TV talk show. Projected on a screen behind them was a picture of the girl—then just a toddler—smiling and hugging the Coast Guardsman at the moment of her rescue.
At one point in the video, the girl, now in her late teens, was asked how she felt. Clearly overwhelmed at being on television, she simply said, “I feel good.” The Coast Guardsman was then asked: “What’s going through your mind right now?” He then turned toward the girl and said: “If I could explain to you how important your hug was…that small gesture. It helped me through bad days and dark days,” he said, choking back tears. “I mean you have a beautiful smile and it stuck with me, and it’s helped me, and it’s meant a lot to me. So, I’m indebted to you. You rescued me more than I rescued you.”
That’s how it works. When we’re willing to step out and lend a helping hand, we end up getting just as blessed—even more blessed—than the person we reached out to help. Those of you who’ve seen the smiles of the girls at Villa Esperanza in Nicaragua or the warmth in the eyes of a grateful disaster survivor in Haiti or Louisiana know exactly what I’m talking about. Jesus was, of course, right when he said: “It’s more blessed to give than it is to receive.”
But providing opportunities for short-term missionaries to hear and respond to God’s call—and be blessed in the process—is just a part of God’s mission through Forward Edge. The other perhaps more important part is our work to help thousands of children and adults in our programs around the world discover their true worth and pursue God’s extraordinary purpose for their lives. It’s our desire to see them say “Yes” to God’s love…to the good works He’s prepared in advance for them to do.