More than 40 children call Rancho 3m Christian Orphanage and School home. I spent the first week of July with the children at staff at Rancho 3m along with a group from my church. Located near Juarez, Mexico, most kids have come to the Ranch because of abandonment, sexual abuse, or imprisoned parents. By gazing at their faces you would never knox the deep pain and trauma that the children have endured at the hands of those who are suppose to love them most. Our week consisted of construction projects around the property, eye exams and Bible school for the kids along with good old fashion play time thrown in. We did our best to love on these kids and help the staff take care of them better.
I assume that most people return from mission or service trips with a sense of accomplishment about all the good that they have done in the world. However, for the second year in a row, I returned seeing all that is wrong with the world and rededicated myself to do all that I can to change it. The issues of orphaned children, sexual abuse and all other variety of social ills are not confined to Northern Mexico; they can be found under our noses here in Knoxville. I work for a non-profit service agency and I see many of these issues every day. I’d like to know what ways Knoxify.com readers are involved in making Knoxville a better place for everyone who lives here. What agencies are doing good work that we should all know about? What social issues need to be addressed?
If you need ideas on how to get involved in local community service check out Love Knoxville which exists to connect everyday Knoxvillians to service opportunities around town or the Compassion Coalition which connects local church congregations with agencies that are attempting to reduce suffering and injustice in our community. Both of these agencies are faith-based, as are my convictions about service, but I think that all people have a responsibility to improve the communities that we live in for all people. So, how can you love Knoxville?
Photography by Osvaldo_Zoom