There is a saying that “you don’t know how much you will miss something until it is gone.” I was wondering what Project Samuel means to the world or what kind of impact it is having? I thought about how you could tell and so I said, “what if Project Samuel was gone tomorrow?” Who would know? Who would feel the void? Would there be a Void? When I began to think about the answer, I was reminded of a time long ago. Well maybe not that long ago, but about six years. That was the year I came to live full time at Project Samuel Zambia.
I know that without having to go into detail, I would be devastated by this void. I know I am not married, but I have twenty-‐three kids whom I love more than anything in this world. I feel the responsibility of a parent having to provide and care for them and know that without them, I have lost all-‐purpose. I’m sure many of you parents could relate. I have also gained friends and family as I have met so many people whom have changed my life forever. So without a doubt, I would know the void.
That same year I began to hire employees at the project. Today, there are over ten full-‐ time employees working here at Project Samuel. One of those employees is Boyd, our night guard. I laugh at some of my memories of Boyd. He is such a vibrant personality and takes so much pride in his work. I remember one time at 2:00 a.m. I hear Boyd calling my name outside. I rush to get out the door and am met by Boyd with a thief in hand. He was so proud that he had caught this man trying to steal a chicken. Boyd’s words where, “Boss, don’t mess with me, I am very dangerous.” I remember laughing and we dealt with the thief in a loving way and allowed him to visit the police until he became sober and then sent him on his way without pressing any charges for which I am sure he was thankful.
One of the more touching moments with Boyd was when he came to me one evening and said, “I know that you love me; I know that you really love me.” He was so appreciative of the job he had and he just couldn’t describe it in any form other than love and that is exactly what it is. The men and women who work at Project Samuel along side Boyd have had their lives forever changed. They are able to provide for their families in ways they never thought possible. Some of them have built nice homes with metal roofs and concrete walls because of the money they can count on each month. So the second group of people who would feel the void would be The eleven men and women who have full time jobs and the countless others who get hired as piece workers from time to time. If they had to go back to scrounging together money and food for their next meal, I’m sure they would know the void.
The next group of people that would know if Project Samuel was gone would be a group that many would probably never think of. Since I came to Project Samuel in 2009, I have been visited by many groups of people traveling from the United States and even South America. I have seen men saved on mission’s trips and I have seen missionaries answer the call on the field. Short-‐term missions usually gets a bad wrap because of the money spent on it, but I am one of those who believe no amount of money compares to the lives changed on the mission’s field. I also believe that I serve a God who has control of the finances and he will supply our needs so when it comes to people coming to Project Samuel and interacting with twenty-‐three beautiful little children and having their life forever changed, I say, “what money?” So, without a doubt, the men and women who have visited Project Samuel would know the void
One of the privileges of living here at Project Samuel is I get to interact with not only the coolest twenty three kids, but countless other children who interact with Project Samuel on a daily basis. I have seen transformations in the lives of so many of our kids. I have seen frowns turn to smiles, Hopelessness turn to hope, sadness turn to joy, and so much more. I remember bringing Castro to the project and after two weeks, seeing his sad gloomy state turn into laughter and joy. I have seen Project Samuel become a haven for kids around the community to play football and watch movies and learn about God in bible study. So many of these kids need a home with a bed, a table with food on it, and a person in their life to call mom. For twenty-‐three of these kids, we have done that, but there are countless more. For those twenty-‐three, they would know the void.
But there are people here who have never had that void filled. They too will feel the void if there was no Project Samuel. They have never experienced Project Samuel and without the support of people back home, they may never experience it. I don’t know about you, but twenty-‐three kids are not enough to me. Eleven employees are not enough. Three summer teams a year are not enough. Six years of my life is not enough. I’m going to continue to give more. I’m going to continue to share Project Samuel with others. I’m going to let Project Samuel fill the void in peoples lives by being the arms and feet of Jesus.
The question is “Are you?” Could you do it? I think you can! If you can find it in your heart to fill the void, others won’t have to feel it!