A couple of weeks ago, as the leadership of Vida 180 we took a hard look at who we are, what we do and why we do it, re-defining our purpose of being, our mission and our vision:
Our purpose: to rescue children, to raise leaders
Our vision: to provide a home and leadership skills to all homeless children in our country
Our mission: to rescue, to restore and to equip homeless children
This affects every decision we make at Vida 180, from the big ones, down to the small, and seemingly insignificant, actions of our everyday life. For example, when our youngest boy, two-year old J, has a dirty diaper, we will not just change it, trash it and make superficial baby talk with him, but remind him that he is wonderfully made, in the image of a loving God, and that just as we are cleaning him, he is cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ and that he will, one day, do great things in the name of the Lord. Then, we will encourage him to pick up his used diaper and dispose of it properly, teaching him to take care of himself and to practice leadership from his tender age
Our bigger children, the 16 and 17 year old teenagers, are learning to take on responsibilities at their part-time jobs, youth camps, and training positions at church. Every month, instead of making the deposits from the comfort of our offices, we make a trip with our young trainees to the bank, where each of them learns and deposits their earnings into their own savings account. To raise leaders means to show each of them the workings of practical life!
When our goal shifts from rescuing children from the streets to raising leaders, our success is not defined by the rescue from a vulnerable environment, the welcoming into our clean house, or our private school. We are merely sowing the seeds and will, God willing, begin to see success in 5–6 years, when our children assume leadership positions. We will see the fruits of our labour when they grow up and begin serving their community as business owners, church leaders, partners, fathers and mothers as a generation that broke the vicious cycle!