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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Risk (05/17/12)

TITLE: Moving Day
By Jenna Fernandez
05/18/12


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I watch silently as my daughter dances among the boxes scattered across our apartment floor. After fifteen years, we are moving out of the inner-city. Reflecting back over the years, I think of the risk God asked us to take when we first moved into what many would consider the “ghetto”—but what we have come to call “home.”

Most of our friends and family thought we were crazy when we first moved here. Our neighborhood is notorious for gangs, drugs and violence—but that’s the very reason why God called us here. Years before I was even born, many churches sought to escape the inner-city in order to establish themselves in the quiet, comfortable suburbs—leaving a gaping spiritual hole in a place crying out for the light of the gospel. Darkness soon replaced the light that should have been shed by the church. We believe God brought us here for a season to help shine His light in a dark place, and now I know it was a risk worth taking.

Even what I would call “risk” is nothing compared to the risks Jesus took to bring the light of His love into the darkness of our lives. He risked His own comfort, security, reputation and life to sacrifice for us. Hebrews 12:2 says He took these risks and endured the cross “for the joy set before Him.” He knew that every risk He took would yield a greater reward—life and salvation for the lost and hurting of the world. How can we do any less?

Looking back on our time in the inner city, I see the blessings that resulted from the risks that we've taken. Having seen God’s amazing power, provision and protection, I know Him in a deeper way. I also see people in a whole new light. Living here, God gave us the privilege of meeting people of all cultures and backgrounds, and we’ve learned from those who had next to nothing materially but where rich with thriving, sincere faith. We’ve seen that He is at work in what the world would consider the most hopeless places of society.

I can say I am a richer person from the experiences I’ve had living in what many would call a dangerous place. Many times, we hear the stories on the news about the vices of inner-city life—but we do not realize that there are real people with real lives behind those stories. God has opened my eyes to see people through His eyes, and this is of greater value than all the treasures of the earth. I hope that in some small way, I’ve brought some of His light into their lives as they have in mine.

Experiencing life in a multi-cultural setting brought us to take another risk that has yielded rewards exceedingly and immeasurably more than we could ask or think—adopting our daughter cross-culturally. She is a blessing beyond all words can describe, and she is so like my husband and I in soul and spirit that it’s evident God hand-picked her for our family. We had to overcome insurmountable obstacles and take personal, relational and financial risks for this adoption to come about—but the journey has brought us to find God’s invaluable treasures hidden in darkness.

A new season has come upon us, and God is leading us to a new place—where we will undoubtedly be called to take new risks. We are in the midst of our second adoption process, not knowing if our family will grow by one child or many. There is a possibility we will go to another country to bring our next child (or children!) home. So many unknowns dance through my mind, just like my daughter dances among the boxes in our living room. As I continue packing, I know from experience that in spite of all the uncertainties—every risk God brings our way will be a risk worth taking.


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This article has been read 256 times
Member Comments
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CD Swanson 05/24/12
This was profoundly beautiful. An excellent job of conveying the topic by delivering a message that touched my heart. Simply moved by this piece. Thank you.

God Bless~
Cynthia Dawson05/24/12
A very beautiful article. I was touched by it as I feel others will be as well. I was hooked on the first paragraph and continue to read because I wanted to know more, not out of duty to read yet another article. Superb job! And if this is true God Bless you for adopting children, they are truly hand picked gifts from God. Our family knows and values this.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/26/12
This is beautiful. I have how you share a personal experience, as it helps the reader connect with you.

My only suggestion would be careful not to repeat yourself. Some of the later paragraphs say pretty much the same thing as earlier. Perhaps A critique group or A challenge buddy could help you catchJ that. Check the message board for groups or buddies.

You do a wonderful job bringing the story full circle. The ending is strong and has a lovely message. It can be terrifying to follow God at times but not only will he provide strengthbut use you to make huge differences in so many lifes. This is right on topic and well-written!
Jody Day 05/30/12
Excellent first sentence that made me want to read on! I did find it a bit repetitive. Might be nice to read an example of a scary or risky thing that happened, and then balanced with the wonderful risk of adoption. Great imagery of the dancing and closing up the story the same way. Nicely done:)
Geoffrey johnstone05/31/12
You started well. I would have appreciated more information about your journey.

Keep writing! You show great ability.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/31/12
Congratulations for placing 8th in level one!