Today as I was sitting on the cement steps outside the Voices4Peru Private School, I began to think about the entire journey from its beginning to the present. It has not always been easy, but surely, as one would say, it has been worth it. Looking into the 3rd year ahead of Voices4Peru Private School’s existence, I begin to see the future plans unfold. What was once started to promote unification among the marginalized communities of Ventanilla where crime, theft, and murder goes for only $30.00 USD, has become a countrywide endeavor to bring wholeness and healing to the communities across Perú. Seeing one of my soccer team's members get murdered for a fight over $5.00 USD never makes sense, but I realize that I have been placed in this location to ease the pain, other than my own. As I look upon the school, I consider what the future growth entails. It won’t be easy, but I am assured, based on past experiences, it will be worth it.
It had been over a month since I got my haircut, and as I was at the shoppe, the barber said to me after about five minutes of conversation, right as he was getting to the blade,
“You are helping thy neighbor, aren’t you?” he smiled.
I hadn’t really thought of it as an official program to help thy neighbor, but I guess, through the words that are printed in God’s word about what we are to do, he was right. We help our neighbors and we seek the best that we can for them. It’s a passion that began so long ago. Helping those who are next to you who struggle through the journey. Many will promise to help and to stand by the side to assist but slowly fade away in the evening dusk.
I guess I remember my neighbors as a child. Those who lived close by the bustling community where I lived out my childhood days. From playing in the sandbox to building leaf forts with my sister, Jana, I cherish all of those precious days filled with a lot of joy. My sister would often help to set up certain rooms in our leaf forts. We had a feeding station where we would place apples, acorns, and God knows what else for the deer, rabbits, and squirrels. Sometimes, at the very back of my parents’ property, where the fence line separated our home from the neighbor’s cornfield, the sun would set so magically along the ridge. The magnificent blends of orange would tremble their way through the evergreen pine trees onto our newly constructed leaf fort. My sister really helped to form those first years of creativity and imagination that grew so deeply in my soul.
“Now,” she would exclaim after placing food down for the animals, “we’ll come back tomorrow to see what the animals have eaten.”
We would sneak away as the sun faded into other time. We would go back into the house after an afternoon of great fun. Sometimes, before the night became too late, I would ride my bike across the street to one of our neighbors’ that lived on “Whiteside’s Road.” It was a blacktop-surfaced road where a married couple lived. They took me in like a little son and I would sit in their sitting room and watch television with them. They were so kind to take care of a little whiney kid like me. I think they truly lived out what it meant to “help thy neighbor.” They always were so friendly, kind, and loving. Sometimes there would be an apple or raspberry pie slice to enjoy, while other times some popcorn. I remember one time as I got older and I remember experiencing some bullying at school as a result of my challenges, they would take me to see a movie and just spent quality time with me.
Quality time truly is the highest form of charity. Over the years, I have realized that more than anything else, the investment of quality time truly speaks louder than any words uttered. Helping your neighbor through quality time is what can demonstrate a passion to change the world, one life at a time. Through the years of community unification projects that I engage in, along with my colleagues, it is quality time that wins over any project. Projects come and go, but quality time is something that will never be forgotten.
Think back to your years of the journey. You may remember certain events, parties, and social gatherings. Of course you would, and you will remember the great celebrations of times gone by. I am certain that you will more than anything, remember the quality time spent by one that loved and cared for you. A relationship or a friendship that truly foregoes the test of time and years and will remains constant in your life. The investment of quality time for your neighbor in this ever changing and destructive society will be the very faded memory that lasts through all of our eternal change.
Investment into the life of your neighbor, regardless of physical distance will be life changing for you and for your neighbor. Regardless of their racial, ethnic, economic, sexual orientation, or their physical appearance, you could be one to experience the most incredible friendship that you’ve ever had. Wipe away all that is visible in your eyes and concentrate on the heart for therein are secrets to a journey complete of an inner peace and joy found in walking by the side of another. Forget about all of the judgmental perceptions you thought meant truth in your own personal journey. If Love is the Lord of Heaven & Earth, you must find the Christ who created your very being. Fighting with your neighbor over the diverse differences of both of your lives will be counterproductive to the very purpose of your creation. For when you decide to drop the differences of your diversity and embrace it with the Love that the One created you with, there you will find a life long friend to walk this journey.
You will never feel alone and moreover you will surely find your sweet spot of where you meet destiny with the purpose that you were created for. In this entire sweeping adventure, you shall find an everlasting joy that goes so very deep within the core of your very soul.
Daniel M. Klopp
Advocate 4 Marginalized individuals & communities globally
Advocate & Journalist
Die Daily to Self
Legacy to leave.