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Role Models

JULY 2017

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by Corrinne Burns Corinne is part of the EM Summer Staff team leading mission trips in Washington, D.C. this summer.

All over America, you’ll find homes of single women raising multiple children, living on WIC, low-income housing, and welfare. How many times do these homes lack an essential father figure? Almost all the time. 60% of children in Washington, D.C. live in a single-parent home. A huge part of our service this summer involves running youth programs at the Salvation Army and a low-to-middle-income apartment complex. These children, I’m sure, fall well within that 60%.

And when boys lack a strong male role model you can imagine what happens: violence, gangs, general mischief, and lack of discipline. Our mission teams during the first week of the summer in D.C. were no stranger to these things.

But thankfully, we had the most amazing group of men arrive on Sunday evening. Never have I met a more mature group of high schoolers (they definitely destroyed stereotypes I had). Watching these talented young men play, love, and work with the kids was overwhelming. They set such a great example, and, over the course of one week, I saw pre-teen boys we work with go from unruly, disrespectful, and challenging to embracing, kind, and steadfast.

Washington DC Mission Trips

Of course, these are boys and they still had their fights and disputes, but it is amazing what a gentle role model can do. When they saw what real Godly men were like they wanted to be just like them.

How did we get these great guys as volunteers? They came with great mission trip team leaders. I watched an entire ripple effect play out with this team. Matt and David, the team leaders, were amazing men who empowered their team to seek Christ and to be Christ to everyone they met—and they certainly were to us. While these young men and other volunteers can never replace a child’s father, we are hopeful about the values they might instill in one week in the life of a child.

Washington DC Mission Trips

What an incredible reminder of The Father who loves us, unconditionally.

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