Earlier this year several graduates of the Muncie Mission recovery program joined me on a weekend backpacking trip into one of Indiana’s State Parks. With backpacks strapped on, freeze-dried food packed away and a tarp for shelter, we hit the trail with a sense of adventure.
After several miles of hiking, we approached a fork in the trail. Being unsure which path led to our destination, several hikers consulted a map to identify our position. One said, “Let’s find the trailhead and trace it to the fork.” Another was already tracing backward from our planned destination and learned there were other forks ahead and more decisions to make, informing us wisely to keep the map easily accessible. Listening to the animated discussion about which path to pursue, instantly reminded me of the teaching provided to the men and women of the Muncie Mission and Beauty for Ashes regarding choices that influence their life’s direction. Each individual has a unique journey and is given space to share that journey with counselors who actively listen with compassion and empathy. Then prayerful guidance and direction – informed by Scripture – are shared allowing each one to acknowledge where they have been, to identify where they want to go and the potential challenges they will encounter. By thinking through predetermined responses to potential obstacles, they develop personal and positive life maps to lead them successfully to the accomplishment of their goals.
In that moment of reflection, I thought of you and how your partnership with the Mission has empowered people lost on the journey of life. Broken relationships, addictions, homelessness led to complete desperation until they found their way to the Muncie Mission and Beauty for Ashes.
That morning on the trail, I bowed my head in a spirit of heartfelt appreciation, and gave thanks to God for you. My prayer is that you experience great joy and abundant blessings as you empower men, women and children of East Central Indiana in discovering a flourishing path for living.