Hope is My Journey -- James Blay
Recently I have been described by many as successful. As a recent graduate of Mercer University, my success has been measured by my completion of my course work and the receiving of my diploma. As proud as I am of my accomplishments, I still find myself wondering if my success is truly quantified by the awards and honors I received. I wonder if there is a more accurate scale by which my success can be measured. I dare say there is.
Through out my life experiences, from dodging bullets in the heat of the war in Liberia, to living in deplorable conditions on a refugee camp, even to my trip here to Mercer, hope has been my journey. Hope gave me the strength I needed to survive and prosper. So today, I consider myself successful only because I have hope. This hope is not a feeble hope, but one that is grounded in the love that I have experienced throughout my stay here at Mercer and First Baptist Church of Christ (FBCX).
When I first came to Macon, I was in a lonely place. Yes I knew a few people, but there was no strong bond that I at the time thought I could rely on. As I settled in, I reminded myself that I had been at lower points in my life before and that hope had brought me through. Little did I know at the time that three years later I would be standing here saying that a community of faith on the top of Poplar has given me more hope than I could ever imagine.
I am convinced that in the presence of love, hope is evident. The love that I have experienced here at FBCX is love beyond all measure. People in this church have shown me and all the other Liberian students what Christ like love is all about. You invited us into your home, you took care of our needs, you prayed for and with us, you give us opportunities to worship and serve, you agape us. This love that you have shown has made me a better Christian. Therefore today as I attempt to measure my success, let me note that I am very successful because I have been hoped.
My plans now are to return to Liberia and extend this same hope to the people I encounter at Ricks Institute and the Liberian Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention. The challenge of this task cannot be overstated because it is enormous. My horizon has been broaden, through this Church God has enlarged my territory. As I respond to the call to go back home, I go with a heavy heart leaving this church and family that I have come to love. However, I go with joy and faith because FBCX has given me through its Christ like love the greatest gift of all, hope. I could not ask for anything more.
Hope is my journey, and FBCX has extended my route. I am blessed to say I am a part of you. As we say in Liberia, "Thank you plenty. "