Kyle and Habi.
The third board member for Mercy Branch Inc., that we would like to introduce to you is Kyle. Kyle is the board member that we have known for the least amount of time, but over these past few years has quickly become like family to us. We are so thankful for his presence and service on our board and for the incredible investment he has made in our lives. It is our privilege to serve alongside of him, and we constantly thank God for bringing him into our lives. Here is what Kyle has to share:
So, truth be told Tiffany asked me to write a little bit about why I wanted to get involved with Mercy Branch quite a while ago now. I’ve puttered and meandered, sat down a few times to write this, thought about writing it a few more, and likely driven her nuts by taking so long. In that time I’ve been blessed with hearing a few pointed messages on Justice at Union Center Christian Church where the Darling’s go, as well as a series on Risk at Willow Creek. Both have continued to shape me for the journey ahead, and likely what is written here. During Pastor Blake’s message he said something that I can take a lot of comfort in moving forward: “the exact place that we are in, needs the exact person that we are.” Simple enough. But also incredibly freeing knowing that God will fill in the gaps of our shortcomings with grace and mercy. There have been plenty of times where I have handcuffed myself because I couldn’t be everything to everyone all of the time, so I will whittle it down & reduce myself to doing nothing in far too many instances, becoming a bystander, or trying to turn an oblivious blind eye to what was going on around me, and the areas that I could help.
My first interactions with Jim & Tiffany actually weren’t with them very much at all, they were with a quiet, somewhat reserved soccer player who was new to Ross Corners where I was the soccer coach. I’ve always been drawn to working with kids and have a passion for coaching, but Habi and his story made me think, and look at things like I hadn’t had to before. He has changed and impacted my life in an abundance of ways, ways that will ripple within me, and others for years and generations to come. Fast forward a couple of years and Jim, Tiffany and their kiddos have become family. To be able to partner with them, and be a part of Mercy Branch is a privilege and honor. To be a small piece of the puzzle in God’s plan to help change the dynamic of street children in Ethiopia & how men live their lives is an amazing calling that I’m excited to see through.
For probably longer than I’ve completely realized a sort of theme in my life, has been fruitfulness. Growing up there is a lot of emphasis put on being successful and I always struggled with success and what the world’s definition was, or should be, especially for me. Success, no matter to what extent, as I understand it dies when I die. Fruitfulness was a concept I was able to wrap my head around and pour into a bit more whole heartedly, however. And, if we’re honest a fruitful life will always be a successful life, the reverse sadly isn’t always true. I want my life to be a sowing season that has a ripple effect, seeds that may have an impact that I see in my life, as well as some seeds that may not reap any fruit ever or until far after I’m gone.
Our culture has engrained in us an aversion to risk. Risk management, and safety may have their place, but as I continue to grow I’m learning that the life that takes risks also may be the most rewarding, the most fruitful, or successful. Safety isn’t a bad thing, but I’m not so sure it’s a place I want to live my life. I want to take risks on people & situations. People that need and deserve to have risks taken for them, situations that are uncomfortable, and will be difficult and have real challenges. I want to engage and face these things head on with God’s help. This is what the heart of Mercy Branch is to me, a pumping, beating force willing to risk along side the street children of Ethiopia.