I get it— the lack of Hope in our current society… the shootings, the violence, the elections, the human trafficking. It’s all too much.

Even if none of these plagues’ have invaded your front door, I know your house holds its own pain— broken relationships, addiction, cancer, grief, anger.  At some point we all have to face the overwhelming pain and suffering that being human bestows upon us, ready or not.

Yet, we have all heard ourselves saying, “The children are our future.” Regardless of our religious and political views, everyone can agree on that one thing.

Right?

Or, if we are honest, maybe we don’t believe that anymore.  Maybe all we see in this younger generation is laziness, apathy, video game playing, bored and immature millennials.  We were all pretty immature once. Isn’t that the point of being young?

Several years ago I was deeply concerned for the millennials living under my roof, the ones that shared my last name.  I was leaning toward bitterness over the time I had poured into my own family, not to mention the thousands of youth I had given my time and my heart to over the last 20 years.

It seemed like no one was getting it.  It seemed that the “best of the best” were no different than the rest, no matter the mentoring, disciplship and love we lavished on them.

My heart was growing harder by the day. Then the unthinkable happened.  Our brightest star, the best of the best in every area…our son Michael took his own life at 19 years of age.

Talk about losing faith.

 Mine was obliterated in one day— April 17, 2013.  I have never known pain like that. I didn’t know your heart could be ripped from your chest and somehow you could continue to breathe. It was like a bomb went off in our family and we scattered into a million little pieces, bloodied and barely holding on to life.

As the grief threatened to destroy us all, we began to quote Michael, we talked about who he was to each of us. At the same time, emails, stories and messages came in from all over the world telling us who Michael was to everyone touched by his life and shocked by his death.

In our darkest hour, slowly we began to find hope.  We dressed ourselves with T-shirts, bracelets and tattoos that shouted our truth in a whisper… “Love Like Mike”.

As simple as it sounds, remembering the way Michael loved EVERYONE gave us the hope to move forward.

Through his death Michael bestowed on all of us our mandate for the rest of our lives.

Michael GOT IT.

He was trying to teach us, but we could not hear him.  He was showing us the Truth: that everyone deserves to be loved, to be heard, to be acknowledged in their uniqueness.

We were so focused on making his generation look, smell, think and talk like us that we forgot to listen to their wisdom, to see their creativity, to celebrate their beauty.

If you have lost hope in the Millennials, I urge you—no I beg you— put down your phone, turn off your devices, look them in the eye and listen. 

Just Listen.

Don’t give up. Just keep listening…

They are screaming wisdom, creativity and truth, but it will come to you in a whisper. The burden is on you to discover it.

But it is there, I promise you, I see it everyday.

They are our future, and its so much more than we believe.

I still have hope.

Partner with the black’s and for a generation here

As you know we are living as “Missionaries” here in Spain. Your monthly support and one-time gifts is what sustains us as a family. Please consider investing in us and a generation. We are living with, teaching, training and mentoring our future leaders. Our Foundation is set up in our Michael’s name to honor his passion and a generation through New Horizons and is a public charity. You will receive a full tax-deduction when you partner with us. You are helping us set young men and women on a path of serving their generation with discipline, hard work and accountability. Thank you.