Champions of Hope Weekend

Clark and I were invited to Amelia Island last weekend to join with Samaritan’s Feet as they celebrated their annual Champions of Hope initiative. I will be honest…we really did not know what we were in for when we arrived. I had been asked to give a 10-minute talk about using my passion of painting and my purpose (to give back to the community at large) and how Samaritan’s Feet has impacted our lives and the lives of others.Over the next few blogs I am going to try to unpack some takeaways and life lessons from the amazing weekend spent surrounded by incredible people dedicated to making a difference in the world. For those who aren’t familiar with Samaritan’s Feet, it is an incredible organization whose mission is to serve and inspire hope in children by providing new shoes as the foundation to a healthy and spiritual life resulting in the advancement of global economic and educational opportunities. It is such a treat for me to head down to the local salon and sit in a nice comfy massage chair and have people work on my feet – washing – scrubbing – lathering lotions and topping off with the freshest color of the month on my newly trimmed toes. A luxury. Now think about the billions of people who are infected with soil-transmitted diseases. There are over 1.5 billion. Singularly because they have no shoes. Most of us reading this blog, myself included own multiple pairs of shoes, while millions across the globe do not own ONE pair. Five years ago I walked into the headquarters of Samaritan’s Feet Headquarters and the presence of the Holy Spirit was so powerful that I spent most of the morning in tears. That day bonded a friendship and partnership between Manny and his wife Tracy, and my art. 3 years later my family was heading to Peru for our first mission trip and shoe distribution. It was beyond humbling to sit opposite of another and wash their feet, asking a little child “What are your hopes and dreams and what do you want to be when you grow up?” and being able to pray with them, and speak a word of HOPE. This weekend threw me back to those humbling moments. Saturday morning after a yummy breakfast and time filled with spiritual teachings, 80 of us headed out to the Boys and Girls Club and set up to wash the feet of over 300 children ranging from 8-12 years old. One girl, Millie, wanted to be an artist when she grew up. You cannot imagine the spark that went off in my spirit as I told her to hold tight to that dream – that NOTHING is impossible with God. I find pure joy in the ability to serve another. So often in our lives we get all that mixed up. We want to ‘be served’ first. I’m thankful for ministerial leaders like Samaritan’s Feet that have the posture of service. What a Christ-like picture of humility. Our KING did not come down to this earth to ‘be served.’ He came to serve. I’m excited to share more from the teachings of the weekend and the conversation I was able to have with the Lord, but as we head into another weekend full of family celebrations and typical routines, I encourage you to ask yourself how you can assume a daily posture to serve others around you. Invite the Lord to open your eyes to the opportunities that cross your path multiple times a day. I believe you will be surprised and blessed by what He uncovers in your life.