Mustard Seed Faith 10-6-2019

Ben Durskin is nine years old. For almost four years, he has been
treated for acute lympho | blastic leukemia. During a punishing protocol of
chemotherapy, he passed the time with his Game Boy and Play Station. Last
summer, Ben came up with his own videogame, designed especially for kids
with cancer. In Ben’s Game, a boy (modeled after Ben) zooms around a
screen on a skateboard, blasting cancer cells in order to collect “shields” that
protect against the usual side effect of chemo: fever, chicken pox, colds,
vomiting, hair loss. A player can’t lose – “you just keep fighting,” explains
Ben. The Make-A-Wish Foundation and software engineer Eric Johnston of
LucasFilms worked with Ben to create the game. Ben’s Game has won raves
from the 200,000 children who have found the game, available free on line.
Not only is the game fun but children learn about the “monsters” attacking
their bodies and how they can best beat them.
For eight years, 15-year-old Sasha Bowers and her family were
homeless. Sasha, her little sister and her mother spent most nights in Columbus, Ohio, shelter, fighting hunger and bugs and kept awake by snoresand screaming. Two years ago, Sasha’s mom landed a job with a cleaning
company and the family was able to move into an apartment.
But Sasha hasn’t forgotten where she came from. She’s been the
driving force behind a summer day-camp program for 175 homeless kids in
Columbus. “When I was in shelters, there were no safe places to play,”
Sasha explains. “I wanted to create a place that was fun, where kids could
stay out of trouble while parents find jobs and housing.”
When Ryan Hreljac was in the first grade, he was shocked to learn
about African children having to walk five miles to get a bucket of clean
water. Ryan did odd jobs around the house and for neighbors for four
months to raise $70, the cost of digging a well.
That was six years ago. Since then the Canadian teen’s foundation,
Ryan’s Well, has raised $750,000 to build wells in seven African nations.
Relief and development agencies in Canada say of Ryan: “He’s such a
regular kid – that’s what makes him so powerful… He believes everyone
should have water, and he’s not going to stop until they do.”These remarkable young people, Ben, Sasha, and Ryan possess the
faith of the mustard seed: they have taken their own “Mustard seeds” – seeds
of creativity, empathy and dedication – and have done the hard work of
planting and nurturing those seeds until each one has realized an enduring
and rooted harvest of hope, of compassion, of life itself. Christ calls us to
embrace “mustard seed” faith – to believe that even the slightest act of
goodness, done in faith and trust in God’s presence, has meaning in the reign
of God. The mustard seed challenges us to grab hold of the opportunities we
have for planting and reaping a harvest of justice, compassion and
reconciliation in our own piece of the earth.
Ben, Sasha and Ryan – remarkable young people – they planted their
tiny mustard seed, worked hard, and God did the rest.
You, you, you, all of you, remarkable people. Plant your tiny mustard
seeds wherever you find yourself in life, work hard and let God do the rest.
Mustard seed faith – to believe that even the smallest act of goodness,
kindness, done in faith and trust in God’s power, can have an unbelievable
effect on many, many people. Please, don’t sell yourself short – don’t sell
the power of God short!

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