Can you look back over the past 20 years and identify fence posts that mark significant transitions in your life? I know I can. I am talking about finding a spouse, a child being born, major career path change, or even a tragic event. When I look back 20 years I see several posts that have affected my community and me for eternity.
One of these fence posts was in 1995 when my parents, Bill & Janice Clark started KICKO (Knoxville Inner City Kids Outreach). I was only 12 years old that first outreach. Little did any of us know that God had put our family on a journey of investing in our urban communities. There was nothing that uniquely qualified my parents to visit children and their families, or even coordinate and teach Sonday School in numerous neighborhoods. There was, however, a willingness and heart of obedience that I have witnessed these past 20 years. The impact has been tremendous both in our inner city, as well as on me.
I have learned that answering the call of God requires being faithful and committed. God tends to work out the rest when He simply has a willing vessel for His purposes. Many of the youth have become family. It is as if we have grown up together under the same godly influences, having our worldview formed by the relationships and Message of Hope brought to us through KICKO.
Sonday School in one of our first communities!
Today, I watch as the second generation is engaged in our leadership development. Where their mother came to Sonday School, now they and their siblings are attending. The impact continues to ripple, as some of our youth have gone on to serve in ministry in various areas, including their own communities. Drug addicted and unwed couples have been set free and married, as God has used the willingness and obedience of a couple these past 20 years. None of this could have been possible without partners like you who are dedicated to seeing our urban communities impacted for Christ.
I don’t think any of us truly know the impact that has occurred. I don’t think anyone can account for each life that is different as a result of that first step of obedience. Like Abram and Sara, my parents wouldn’t have believed what God was going to do had He told them. Laughter might have been the same response; trusting and obeying certainly was.
After 20 years, celebrate with us that the best is still ahead. Celebrate with us that while we are visiting nearly 1,200 children and their families in our urban communities that we are just getting started. Celebrate with us the goal of reaching Every Kid for Christ!
Celebrate with us by investing in our urban communities in 2015 and building upon the foundation poured these past 20 years!
After 20 years the best is still ahead,
Public Relations & Youth Coordinator