“We live in a world where bad stories are told, stories that teach us life doesn't mean anything and that humanity has no great purpose. It's a good calling, then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to hear these stories, and how happy it makes us to repeat them.” -- Donald Miller
There's this section in Donald Miller's book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years where a father is lamenting the direction his thirteen-year-old daughter's life is heading. Jason had recently found pot in his daughter's room. She was dating a guy that smelled like smoke and grunted out monosyllabic answers to every question. Then Miller says something to his friend that catches them both off-guard. "Your daughter is living a terrible story. She's caught up in a bad one." A couple months later, Miller ran into his friend Jason again. He was smiling. His daughter's life was turning around. Why? Because Jason had decided to lead his family to live a better story.
"Jason realized he hadn't mapped out a story for his family. And so his daughter had chosen another story, a story in which she was wanted, even if she was only being used. In the absence of a family story, she'd chosen a story in which there was risk and adventure, rebellion and independence." Jason described his daughter this way: "She's not a bad girl. She was just choosing the best story available to her."
Jason pursued a better story and invited his young daughter to join him. He partnered with an orphan care ministry and invited his family to be change agents in this hurting world. This brave man decided to take on a $25,000 campaign to care for orphans. At first, his family thought he had lost his mind. He knew a good story always involves risk, but was this too risky? Eventually - inviting his family into a story worth living completely changed the dynamics of his family. On her own, his daughter broke up with her boyfriend. She was too busy getting wrapped up in something beautiful and worth living for to be bothered with a dead-end story.
If your family is looking for a better story - if you're wondering whether there's something more meaningful than the rhythm your family may currently be living - there is. This world is a terrible, depressing place until we dig in deep and become part of the solution. Then it's beautiful. Hope seems to hang out around every corner.
Looking for a cause? Looking for a better story? Will you take 10 minutes and watch this documentary that sums up what Mercy Project is doing in Ghana to free child slaves? Will you show your family the short film and invite them into the world of Ghanaian children? We're not asking for your money. We're simply inviting you to be a part of something that matters. Chris Field, who runs Mercy Project, is a personal friend and goes to our church. We're vouching for this organization's practices and desire for sustainability in Ghana.
Please feel free to post this video on your blog or share on Facebook and Twitter. If you share to Twitter will you use the hashtag #endslavery? Will you post the video on CNN Freedom Project's Facebook Page and mention @CNNFreedom or @IJMHQ in your tweet? Mercy Project will free its first group of child slaves this September. This is something to celebrate.
If you're a blogger, Mercy Project is looking to partner with other bloggers to spread the word. Please email email@example.com if you'd like more information about advocating for Mercy Project within your sphere of influence.
How to Get Your Kids Involved in a Better Story
Coming Soon: Once the first group of children are freed in September and returned to their families, Mercy Project is committing to pay for the children to go to school. Our family will be hosting a nationwide readathon to raise money for the children's school expenses. We're inviting US schools and families to be a part of the solution. We love the idea of giving children the opportunity to read and raise money for children who cannot currently read. How lovely for an American child to read for a child in Ghana. How perfect to invite your school, classroom, or child, into a meaningful story by reading stories and ultimately changing the story of trafficked kids in Ghana. Who says kids can't be a part of the solution? More details to come!
“And once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can't go back to being normal; you can't go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time.” -- Donald Miller