Growing up I was given great opportunities that my parents worked very hard to give us. We then become adults and choose to walk away with the opportunities we want. I can't begin to name all of the opportunities my parents gave me, but I would like to list 3 main ones. First, was education. My parents knew that education was very important. They would find the best public school in a city and then find the closest house for sale. Education mattered. Second, speech. My mother would constantly look me in the face to correct my speech. Third, people. I was not raised to belittle another race nor look down on anyone, no matter their status.
I remember this lesson of "opportunities" was ingrained into me through a situation I found myself in when we lived in Bibb City (a poorer section of our town) in my twenties. Chance and I were living in a staff house at a local homeless shelter. I was given the opportunity to help a young girl in her twenties just like me, with small children, just like me. The only difference between the two of us were the opportunities given to each of us growing up. Her speech was different and her education was different. I saw us as no different other than the fact that I had been given different opportunities. This reminded me of the movie "My Fair Lady" in which the professor takes a lady away from the poor part of town, educates her and perfects her speech and tries to pass her off as royalty. These are opportunities.
In America, "the land of opportunity" the opportunities are vast. Being here in Bulgaria, I saw this desire to be more like America in dress, slogans, and pop culture, but I believe the desire to be like America, comes more in the opportunities available. In America you are told you can be anything you want when you grow up. You can take advantage (if you work hard enough) of every opportunity America gives you. Many choose to take advantage, but many don't.
We, here on the mission field, want to give opportunities to those wanting to choose them. An opportunity to move from the kingdom of darkness and into God's glorious loving kingdom, an opportunity to learn God's word and become a disciple and live in freedom and victory, an opportunity to learn English so that more opportunities are given to them, and an opportunity to change the world.