As a boy growing up in Ethiopia, Markus, his sister and his mother became sick with tuberculosis. His mother died from the disease.
He and his sister had no place to go.
One day, a family from Sweden decided to adopt a child. I don't know if they were unable to have children, but I do know they had room in their lives to give an orphaned brother and sister a loving family.
Markus and his sister moved with his new family to Sweden, he went to school, and grew tall. He became interested in cooking and was able to go to a culinary school.
Markus skills enabled him to become an accomplished chef. He worked in fine restaurants, has been a judge for cooking competitions, and has cooked in the White House for the president.
Markus volunteered for a program for poor children interested in becoming cooks. The program provides training, scholarship, direction, and opportunities for those who complete the training. From the look on his face, he really enjoys giving back to kids who need that special help.
Recently, four chef judges competed with each other. The charity of the winner's choice would receive the monetary award as a contribution. Each judge chose a very worthy charity. Markus chose the program he had been volunteering his skills.
One by one the four chef's were eliminated from the competition. Each round Markus demonstrated his exceptional culinary skills. When only two competitors remained, Markus was pronounced the winner.
I can only imagine the joy in his heart, as he reflected on his journey from homelessness in Ethiopia to winning this competition for his charity.
To me Markus has risen to the top. He had a rough start in life, but now he chooses to give back to those who are where he once was.
Rough situations happen to all of us. Sometimes the road of endurance can be difficult, and seemingly impossible. By putting one foot forward with our hand held firm by Jesus's hand we can walk through the bog and to dry, solid ground.
Can I pray for you or a loved one? You don't have to give details if you don't want. A simple yes will work.
If you are at a mountain peak and enjoying the sunshine of life's journey, write a blessing in the comment section. We all could use a blessing :)
May the peace of God shine in your heart and your day today.