Karter and Jackson's Water Crisis
By Patricia Peña
We are always thinking of ways to engage the community. Sometimes the needs seem overwhelming. Today, we find the story of Karter, a boy from Jackson, Mississippi, who is leading by example. His story made us understand that the discipleship that begins at home brings forth the fruit of transformation and that with faith, like a child, we can move the hearts of many to walk in faith even in the most challenging of times.
May Karter's story, shared by his father, Kevin Kosh, inspire you to "see the need and meet it" in your community.
Read John 6:1-13 CEB.
Since August, Jackson, Mississippi, has been dealing with a water crisis. As a person of faith, I prayed, cried, talked to city leaders, and went to God's Word. I wondered what I could do to make a difference. What could I do to put my faith into action? As I wrestled with the reality of the water crisis, I didn't realize that someone was watching.
Someone was watching as I made phone calls to help collect and distribute water. I have a nine-year-old son named Karter. One night before bed, I didn't read Karter just any bedtime story; I told the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand. Karter was amazed. "Wow, Jesus did all that!" He said as he sat up in his bed. "Yup, he did," I said, confidently. I realized at that moment, a story that I had heard a thousand times was my son's first time hearing it. "Why are you telling me this story now? Can I hear more about Jesus?" I could see Karter's wheels turning. I reassured him we would talk more about God; we prayed, and that was that.
The following week, I went back to collecting and distributing water. This week, however, it seemed like all the plans were falling through. Deliveries were delayed; volunteers had to cancel, and resources needed to be greater.
I was frustrated, but someone was watching. Karter saw the crisis in Jackson. It was on the news, and we didn't have water ourselves for a few days. Karter heard my concerns. The difference is Karter now knew the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand. While I was on the phone dealing with yet another water delay, Karter walked into the room. "Dad, do you remember that story of Jesus? I want to help." He handed me his monthly allowance and walked away confidently as if his $20 was enough.
Shortly after, I got a call from a church that had water but needed a way to get it to Jackson. I could feel the Holy Spirit at work. I cleaned out my truck and said, “Thank you, Jesus!”
We collected more than 150 cases of water from Griffin Chapel United Methodist Church, and Karter donated the water to his school. Karter saw his dad frustrated; he saw the need of his community. However, he also saw himself in the story of Jesus and the little boy's lunch, so he decided to act.
Jackson isn't out of the water crisis yet, but we have people coming together and putting their faith into action to meet needs and find solutions. I am hopeful and can boldly proclaim that Christ can be found amid our crisis. The question is, “Are you willing to respond faithfully?”
The doors of the church are open. Who will let them come?
By Rev. Patricia Pena
Rev. Kevin Kosh
Path 1 and Discipleship Ministries is in covenant with SBC21 and The Black Church Matters. We give thanks for the leadership of Rev. Dr. Michael Bowie and Rev. Dr. Bener Agtarap. For more information about the Path1 and SBC21 covenant reach out to Rev. Patricia Pena at [email protected].
Patricia Peña is the Director, Diversity & Innovative Community Engagement, with Path 1 at Discipleship Ministries.