THE SEED THAT STARTED IT ALL.
John 12:24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
The story of how this all got started only makes sense when I look at it backwards. I believe your experiences in life are the breadcrumbs to your destiny. It is so important to pay close attention to what your experience is, whether it's good or bad, and find the root of the feeling it brings.
One of the many breadcrumbs was an individual named Cameron. After starting a Christian clothing company, I then started an employment program (www.ShopSaveAPenny.org). We partnered with various shelters throughout the country and conducted career development workshops. Not only did we help with job readiness, but we also employed them for the day so they could add it to their resume. For those who had no experience, this is a hug help. Within a year, we employed over 98 young adults. Cameron was one of them. We not only were able to consistently employ him but also supported him when he moved out the shelter. He was able to find his own apartment as well as purchase his own car. This was really life-changing for him. Cameron had a substance abuse background, and he had stayed in a supportive sober living home for a year. Within a couple months after he moved from the sober living program, he relapsed. This caused him to lose his job and eventually lose his housing because he wasn't able to pay the rent. I let him stay with me for a couple days, but due to his high anxiety, he decided to leave. A couple days later, he called me, and I remember like it was yesterday. Due to me being busy or selfish, I didn't answer. I knew it was going to be a call that ultimately made me feel bad. Kind of like the times we walk past people experiencing homelessness and make no eye contact because we don't want to take responsibility. Cameron left a message that day, and I still have it on my phone. That was an hour before he overdosed, committing suicide. I remember going to his funeral and constantly telling myself, if only I had answered the phone. I went weeks playing the scenario over and over in my head. This put me in a deep depression, and I asked myself, Am I really making a difference? I remember telling myself, I have to two choices. I can either do nothing for the rest of my life and play the blame game or do something radical and let this experience be my “why”. So within a month, I asked all my roommates to move out and told them what I was doing. They thought I was crazy. But I’d rather be crazy than normal and watch other people die over small things that we can do something about. I remember Cameron saying all the time that he would die before going back to the streets. I believe if he had a home he would still have hoped to survive to the next day. My childhood home is dedicated to Cameron because without his story the men that live at this home would probably never had a chance and would only be another statistic.
The scripture I quoted is a representation of giving up self to produce many other seeds. Hopefully, just like Cameron's story, my story will encourage others to do something radical.