I met Mr. Balentine in the summer of 1993. A group of 10 high school students and their leaders had been sent to Mr. Balentine’s to make much-needed repairs to his house, which sat in a secluded cove of the Appalachian foothills. What started as a simple project turned into a major rebuild. The only thing keeping the front wall attached the house was a thin layer of shingles overhead. The entire house had to be razed and rebuilt.
At the end of the project, Mr. Balentine walked into his “new” home. Tears in his eyes, he remarked that his family could finally return and all live together. His words are forever etched in my memory: “You’ve not only restored my house, you’ve restored my dignity.”
“You’ve not only restored my house, you’ve restored my dignity.”
That summer and many mission trips later have opened my eyes to the hurting and neglected neighbors who live near and far. We live in a broken world. When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, creation and humanity were scarred. Enter broken relationships. Deceit. Hunger. Corruption. Poverty. Disease. Envy. War. These are only a few of the manifestations of our broken world. But God is in the restoration business.
… There are many more people like Mr. Balentine who need a love they can see—a love that can provide a new home and a new heart. They need to know about a Savior whose healing goes way beyond a fresh coat of paint, a roof over their heads, or a sack full of groceries.
I can promise that not far from you is a field rife with hurt but white unto harvest. This truly is the land of opportunity. An opportunity to love your neighbor as yourself.
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