Few things inspire and impress me like leadership in young people. And, suffice it to say, I’ve been more than a little inspired and impressed over the past two weeks. Though I have highlighted the Basotho youth who are rising up to impact South Africa, I would be incredibly amiss to neglect mentioning the six youth within our own team. 100_5295

Each one–and I really mean EACH ONE–has demonstrated amazing courage and work ethic as well as an obvious love for God, daring to live so far outside their own box I can’t help but be challenged to live a little more outrageously myself. DSC_0032 (2)

Led by Alex, a youth intern with more leadership potential in his little pinkie than many of us will have in a lifetime, Kevin, Mitch, Jake and Tara caught his vision of a mission trip to South Africa and gave up a typical high school summer break in Nebraska to follow their heart. DSC_0008 (2)

Lauren and Alyssa are no different. They also gave up much to be here, though I doubt they’d call it a sacrifice even for a moment. I’ve known these two for a couple years now, but have seen within them a growing maturity and a bottomless well of compassion and love–not to mention energy.

I have watched all these youth run and hug and play with countless children, only to pick up and do the same thing again and again the next day. Their attitudes are consistently positive, and I am convicted time and time again by their example of what it means to serve and love without restraint.100_5202

Though we will be leaving the youth of Intabazwe on Saturday, I have a renewed fire in my heart to invest in the youth right in my own back yard. These six young people are truly “fanning into flame” their heart and passion for the orphans and poor and needy throughout the world. Like a torch beckoning others to follow, they aren’t waiting to grow up or “make something” of themselves in order to make a difference. They are doing it TODAY. NOW.

Isn’t this something from which we so-called “grown-ups” could learn? Rather than waiting for this or that to make it a “better” time to do something, what would happen if each one of us determined to capture THIS MOMENT to impact our world to the glory of God? While its never too late, it is clearly never too early to be an extension of compassion to a world who needs just a little more love and a little more hope.P7080220

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