Generational impact. It’s a bit of an abstract concept. So frequently we think only of what is in front of us. We think of immediate needs and the needs of a single life. Seldom do we think of how choices made now impact our descendants–the next generation. This is true of all people in all places. Generational impact is real, but difficult to wrap our minds around.
Flickr image by edanley
Generational poverty is a widely studied and researched concept. It is a cycle that is vicious and difficult to break. Most of our friends on the streets were not born into wealth and affluence. Most were born into situations that mimic theirs today, and research shows that without marked changes in their own lives, their children will enter a similar situation.
Changes that are made today (positive and negative), affect those who come afterwards.
I’m reminded of the Biblical story of Abraham. Abraham was told by God to get up and move to go to a land that God would show him. I don’t know about you, but when I move, I like to know where I am going. Abraham just left. He took his family–his whole life–and moved. Had he not done this, the narrative of the nation of Israel would not have begun through him. An entire nation was established because of the change made by Abraham. He made the change based on a promise for the future, the promise of becoming a great nation. Not a promise of riches or immediate power, but a much more nebulous and futuristic promise.
Many of our friends have experienced a lot of negative changes in their lives–many of which have been decisions made for them. When a pattern of changes being negative develops, it is difficult to make the necessary changes to improve one’s situation.
We hope that we can provide the support needed for our friends to make the brave decision to change. Change in a way that improves their situation for themselves and for the future.
It’s important that our employees realize that the changes they are making as they work to improve their situation now will impact the rest of their own lives, but it will also impact the lives of their children and grandchildren. Their changes will change the trajectory of their future and their family’s future.
This generational impact is very important to us at Purple Door because it is about working towards the repair of a broken system. God is restoring all things to himself by using His people, and we are blessed to be a part of that restoration in this specific area.
It also helps us remember that one life changed by God through Purple Door Coffee is not a solitary life, but a life that is connected to many lives. That changed life will have a ripple effect to others.
Abraham got up and moved. He changed his life, but never saw the full fruits of that change. We at Purple Door must remember that we will never see the full fruits of the changes that are started in the lives of those connected to us, but it is still worth it. And our employees may not see the full fruits of their change either, but we pray they find conviction and courage knowing that they are impacting their family generations from now by making positive changes now.