Thursday, November 15, 2012

courageous faith

Sure, he kinda looks like a schmuck in this picture... but that's just 'cuz I was the schmuck on the other side of the camera taking it. This guy here, he's not really a schmuck at all. In fact, I've heard him called a lot of things, and "Schmuck," is never one of them.

I could lay out a whole list of words and names used to describe him; father, friend, worship leader. BUT blah, blah, blah... BORING!

Let me tell you what else he's been called.
Actually... I probably shouldn't. Not appropriate, I guess.

You see, this man is not only my dear friend and brother in Christ, he's also been a co-worker of mine for over a year now.

Henceforth the inappropriate names. You see, the kids we work with... nah, I'll get to that later.

Back to Nate. He's one of those weirdo people that moved from IN all the way here to SoCal as a missionary and church-planter. One of many Branches.

No job. No home. Just faith. Courageous faith.

And, unbeknown to him, that courageous faith would lead him to an under-funded, ill-equipped group home in the barrio, where he'd serve *crazy children, earning about one third of the pay he'd get if he were actually doing what he went to college to do.

*crazy children. I know, it's sounds harsh. Just keep in mind, this home we work in houses the sickest kids in San Diego, literally just one step away from hospitalization. They are the youngest, and most mentally-ill and aggressive kids within the entire organization. I love them, but they CRAY-CRAY, and running through their actual diagnoses would be another post all of it's own.

These kids. They go for the jugular. Literally.
But Nate remains unshaken. He stands firm.

By far the most stable man I've met.

Today he was recognized at work with an award for his achievement. HR and the CEO make clever ties between core values of the organization and the awards they give their staff. Appropriately, Nate was recognized for his courage.

Standing firm on his foundation of Christ, I've yet to see Nate shaken. And, let's be honest, if a person were to be shaken anywhere, it'd be a place where children take orders from the devil, eat glass, paint walls with pooh, and stow away shivs to shank you with when you least expect it.

Yep. That's the place. That's his mission field. That's where he serves the Kingdom, and with courageous faith.

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