Love changes everything. This simple yet impactful philosophy guides Hope for Opelousas day in and day out.
Nearly a month ago (has it been that long?!) I co-led a mission team of 21 people from Northwestern College in Iowa to Opelousas. It was a trip I was personally making for the fourth time. What a blessing to share with friends a place and people I have grown to love! It is safe to say each member of our team was impacted by what HFO is doing and left with a new perspective and a heartened spirit. Recently we met as a whole group for the first time since our return from Louisiana, and I asked everyone what they considered to be their take-home message from HFO. “Love changes everything.” “Do small things with great love.” “Love until it hurts.” I sensed a pattern.
HFO hosts special events and guests for a variety of reasons throughout the year; from camps to fundraisers, LSU athletes to mission teams like us, these occurrences are exciting and usually ridiculously fun. They also require resources, planning, and hard work. Similarly, the day-to-day activities of HFO also require resources, planning, and hard work along with that special ingredient—love. It is in these daily enterprises, which come with both challenges and joys, that a person learns to practice reciprocity and has the opportunity to grow. Students, directors, interns, board members, and volunteers mutually share in this practice.
This is why I have sought to serve and minister with HFO in the past, and why I continue to do so. Each time I make the trek from Iowa to Louisiana, I am astounded at God’s enduring work in Opelousas. He is faithful. I, along with the rest of us from Northwestern, wish to encourage all who are part of HFO’s daily operations—adults and youth alike—to remain steadfast and to seek God each and every day. He is with you at all times, in every situation. As Paul tells us (Romans 12:12), “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” And keep doing what y’all do best: love.
In hope and in love,
For part one of this series see http://hopeforopelousas.org/?p=969