The Baton Pass in Family Culture
Starting out practice with a group run
You’ve all seen it, or perhaps even done it; the relay race in track and field. One runner starts with the baton in their hand and runs toward their teammate. The teammate stands at the ready, looking back with an outstretched arm until the other teammate gets close enough they need to start to run. At that point they can’t look back. They run full speed ahead with the blind awareness the first runner is going to place the smooth baton in their hand at which point they will drop off and the new holder of the baton will continue their full speed run to the next runner.
The same is true with culture. Dr. Tererai Trent talks about this with her African roots. She says “Everyone is running a relay with a baton; the baton of poverty, baton of illiteracy, the baton of early marriage. But you can change the baton. You just have to believe you can, be shown it is possible and then do it.”
Sometimes all someone needs is a person to believe for them that they can do something different in their lives, or to tell them that a different life is possible. We don’t believe “illiterate” or “uneducated” or “unloved” need to be part of family culture in Fondo Negro any longer.
This is the reason we work so hard to keep the kids in school and to tell and show them the love of Jesus. Educated, loved, literate, valued, caring; those are the batons we are stepping in to pass to our kids . We accomplish this through the teaching from our coaches and mentoring from the people who visit and pour into the kids we are serving. Our favorite question is “why are you doing this?” because then we get to say “because Jesus loves you, because we believe you have more in store for you, because we believe you get to create your own story and make it look the way you want it to look”. That’s a heavy baton but one we are glad to be asked to pass along.
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