Today marks a monumental day for someone I hold very dear. A young woman I have known and loved since she was the age of my sweet Mercy leaves the comfort of friends, family and home to move into a tough New York City community where she will, for two years, serve as a teacher through Teach For America. I am blown away by her courage, her steadfast commitment to what she values, and the way her belief in God compels her to go and dwell among the least.

Jessica has been an intimate witness to my own life and struggles in pursuing God in difficult places. Her home in Naperville was one of my places of rest and recovery during tough years of ministry in Chicago. She has had her own share of challenges and heartache in her years, and I know that she enters the inner city as one who knows the language of suffering; she thus enters as one capable of deep compassion which will be her greatest weapon against the injutice and oppression she will most certainly encounter.

We often laugh about the uncanny similiarites between Jess and me, and I know I get blamed (and probably rightly so) for many of them! I can only hope that Mercy will have many Jessicas as role models for how a young woman can boldly walk in God’s calling.

We love you, Jess. May the Lord bless you and keep you, on this journey and always.

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