Life’s struggles can sometimes seem overwhelming, and especially when we don’t see an end to suffering. The recent turn of events in our world is evidence enough to that end, and we can feel hopeless and vulnerable when we know not how to respond.
However, there is always hope that things can change.
I recently had the opportunity to converse with a gentleman by the name of Amit Khaira a few months ago, who has a fascinating backstory and a present-day passion to help young people in Australia. However, growing up in a devout Hindu family, he struggled in school, being the only migrant student during his time studying in Australia at a Dutch Reformed school in his younger years.
He eventually found a love of sports, in particular basketball, as a way to find his identity and form friendships in circles he wouldn’t have otherwise been able to enter.
Reaching out to others
Eventually, he turned his sports passion into a way to provide a similar place for young people outside of the school walls, by creating what was then known as “Brotherhood for Life”, which became the largest portable skate park in Western Australia.
For Amit, his interest in business was also a passion of his, so he started an import apparel business and was able to run the company for a few years. But Amit still wanted to see young people realise their real potential, which made him realise that education was key.
“You go through pain, but you can’t make young people immune to it...in the pain, there is hope,” Amit says. He realised that young Australians often ‘buy in’ to the lie that consumerism is a way to cover up the difficulties we all try to hide.
This often can lead to all sorts of issues in the way young people live their lives, and they end up turning to the wrong sorts of things to numb the pain. The question is, in Amit’s own words, “how do I represent Christ in a way that is real, not a lie?”
Representing Christ in a genuine way
That is a question that I actually struggle with every day, though I usually don’t think about it out loud. As introspective as I try to be, the more I see how difficult the circumstances are, and how certain things in life are beyond my control, it begs the question of what I must do to shift my perspective from the things I can’t change, to the things I can?
However hard the struggle, there is always a story to tell when we find a way to press forward beyond the everyday obstacles that we all face, and how to live a life that seeks out purpose and potential.
Amit now runs a social enterprise in the form of a cafe in Western Australia and seeks to translate his experience working with young people into educating them about a better way to live, through his overseeing of the Catalyst Course—a program for emerging leaders. He continues to seek out ways to speak into the lives of young people, where he is.
Living in a way in which we find life worth living is not easy, but it is quite possible; especially when you find out that God is actually on your side, and that He never lets go of you, no matter what obstacles you face or the challenges that come your way.
That’s when we find hope in the midst of pain.
Joseph Kolapudi is a TCK born in Australia to Indian parents, and returned from California where he was studying theology at Fuller; currently, he is working with a missions agency, continuing his love of writing by contributing to PSI.
Joseph Kolapudi's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/joseph-kolapudi.html