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Unsung: John Briggs

Unsung: John Briggs
July 1, 2015 No comments

Some of my most simple and clear times in college were spent doing relief work – mainly in New Orleans after Katrina. I had felt like it was time to move on from my college town I called home and Free Burma Rangers, an organization assisting the marginalized in Burma, seemed the perfect opportunity to put some of my skills to use.

When my time at FBR came to an end, I met with a mutual friend Alezandra. Alezandra founded Urban Light after a trip to Thailand where she saw a need to reach out and protect young boys who had been sex and labour trafficked. Urban Light was started to change lives and bring hope in an unreached and often unspoken area of male human trafficking.

One of the most moving experiences with Urban Light I have had was a trip to one of the boys’ villages. We were able to meet the boys’ elders, parents, siblings and even children and to get to know their backgrounds. We played many educational games, made art, and gave out hygiene basics and school supplies to the kids. My job was to photojournalist the days and while all the planned events were really cool, I’d say my favorite moment was watching the kids take charge. The first day we arrived, we played Uno with the children and gave them a deck of their own for the the future. Early the next morning, we could hear giggling outside our group’s lodging. We came outside to be greeted by a cool, misty morning and children huddled around a table playing Uno, being taught by the kids who had only understood the day before.

What inspires you?

People with good beards are my inspiration. Partially true, I suppose as in college it was a bearded professor teaching on the New Testament that started my own bearded journey. But more importantly about him was his dedicated character – he could recite much of the New Testament and as a kind, honest servant. A roommate of mine (albeit, beardless at the time) inspired me in the same way with his morning routine dedication to the Christian faith by reading the Bible and meditating on verses to start his day off with a spiritual breakfast. Both men I saw to be great leaders as they led by quiet, steadfast example.

What keeps you going?

The Kingdom of Heaven keeps me going. I’m here contributing my sweat and love to build it on the foundation laid thousands of years back by a superb act of grace. It’s an honor and privilege to share that same grace and love I know with everyone.

What does Crafting Wellness mean to you?

Crafting wellness… wellness could be seen as mental, physical, spiritual, so many ways. Therefore the way my social/development work contributes to crafting wellness is by loving the impoverished and mistreated. I try to lend my services in a variety of ways to change their economical, educational, nutritional cycles as well as be the same simple, loving and steadfast servant to those peoples so they might experience Christ in me.

– John Briggs, Current Urban Light Support Staff

Unsung, is a feature MDF proudly brings to the MDF community highlighting the incredible MDF’ers who are truly #CraftingWellness. We hope to inspire, encourage, and connect humanity by sharing the stories from the thousands of anonymous individuals whose imprint can be seen in the lives of countless others.

Posted in: blog