The heart of The Abandon Project is huge.
Even this week, as I write this, I think about a couple conversations I recently had with Josh, the founder of the Abandon Project; there was a shooting in the housing complex where a bunch of the kids live and hangout (definitely didn't hear about this on the news) and one of the kids, that seemed to be doing well was picked up for missing his parole hearing. This is the part when all of this becomes real.
When you decide to move into a community, inspiring hope and dreams into kids that only know violence and no concept of family structure, it seems like the highs are really high and the lows and really low.
In short, this is what the Abandon Project is:
Below is a bit of a walk-through of what the Abandon Project is, both in their community and globally.
In Charlotte, N.C.
So many times when we see a problem or hurting people, our response is to turn from that, I mean, our culture has taught us that happiness and comfort and being fulfilled is to not have pain.
So when Josh, the founder of The Abandon Project, saw these kids in his town that are struggling to read & write, dealing drugs, getting pregnant, having felonies on their record, can't get a job; he moved into the neighborhood. Because that's what you do, right? When you see kids with no role models, no positive influence in their life, you step in. You love them. You help them with school. You become a part of their life.
Partnering with Samaritan's Feet
While in Charlotte, we met Manny Ohonme, the founder of Samaritan's Feet; he is a large Nigerian-born man that exudes light and joy. The shoe mission of Samaritan's Feet is "to inspire hope through the gift of shoes, the act of washing feet, and encouragement to those who need it most" . And this is done all over the world.
It is always so incredible when people work together for a greater good. The impact is always deeper and the reach is always further.
So, while having the opportunity to work with Josh Meadows and the Abandon Project ( theabandonproject.org ) in Charlotte, N.C., Josh and I ran into Manny Ohonme, the founder of Samaritans Feet ( samaritansfeet.org ), we told him about our upcoming trip to Guatemala, working with Abandon Project in their continued partnership in a community of orphans and widows there. He then told us, he would love to send 200 pairs of shoes with us in order to uplift the people there.
This is that story.
Though the main work of The Abandon Project is with the fatherless in the Charlotte area of North Carolina, they have this connection in Guatemala.
At times, other cultures and people seem so different than us; the things they eat, the clothes they wear. But, there always seems to be some underlying thread that connects us all.
So what do you do, when you have a heart for the fatherless in your community, and you find yourself in a small community in the mountains of Guatemala where many men have become a slave to alcohol, even to the point that they drink themselves to death? You step in.
In partnership with Mission Housing Ministry ( mhm-guatemala.org ), the Abandon Project has created a lasting relationship in that very small community in the mountains. They are just one example of what it looks like to not only "love your neighbor" but also to broaden your gaze and take a look at humanity as a whole; these are your brothers, and these are your sisters.