I have had the honor and privilege of following in the footsteps of some incredible leaders. People who have helped pave the way, and lovingly, patiently and humbly allowed me to walk alongside them. They have given me opportunities, given me space to dream, make mistakes and correct them, and ultimately lead the way.
One of those leaders was Jim Hishmeh. I remember meeting him early on in my time at Hope Street and understanding he was one of the original board members who laid the foundation for our organization. His wisdom, compassion and insight helped shape who we are today.
He recently passed, and today we will celebrate his life. While we are sad to lose a dear friend, we are grateful for his influence and impact on earth for the kingdom.
I think about one of the last conversations we had. He was helping us make local connections to businesses that he believed would invest in Shechem. Midway through the conversation he looked at me and said, “You have a lot of faith. We could never have imagined Hope Street would be where it is today. Sometimes people my age may see your faith as naive or silly, but if God gave you this vision, stick with it and I will do my part to support you.” And he continually did just that. Last week as we opened the doors to Shechem at Hope Street, I hugged my friend Jamie, Jim’s granddaughter, and I was thankful that a part of him was there with us.
May we remember the people who have helped pave the way, and follow in their example to create opportunities for those coming in behind us.
Well done, Mr. Hishmeh, well done.
Father, thank you for the people you bring into our lives. The people who willingly and thoughtfully invest in our well-being. Leaders who bring up new leaders, and lovingly point to truth. May we all have great faith to do the things you ask us to do. Give us the grace to receive the help and support along the way. Lord, help us remember and then be transformed into those same type of leaders for the next generation.