by Erik Segalini
Dmitry Huhlaev lit a thin, brown cigarette down at South Street Seaport, but it couldn't overpower the smell of another smoke—an unwelcome symbol of hopelessness. Wearing Bolle glasses, a Fossil watch and Kenneth Cole shoes, the outwardly successful man sat on a park bench and began to cry.
The 41-year-old had lost his close friend and lover, Madeline, in the World Trade Center attack. Today Dmitry had heard of another friend who just took her own life.
"I'm lost," he said, clutching his head with his hand. "I am lost."
Dmitry first recognized his hopelessness on September 11. Satisfying relationships, world travel and business success had covered the hole in his life like a rug over a pit. Now staring up from the bottom, Dmitry and millions like him are discovering that their hope had been a mirage.
In reality, the terrorists had not stolen his hope. Dmitry never had any to steal.
The 96 Campus Crusade for Christ staff members in New York City shared the world's horror at the news of the attack, but none we re surprised by the lack of hope that followed . They know that the problem of hopelessness is not new; neither is the solution of seeing a life changed by God. Every day, they offer eternal hope to high-school students, ambassadors, artists, athletes, college students and the poor.
We filled this issue of Worldwide Challenge with stories of true hope in action. In New York, in Washington, D.C., and across the United States of America, hope is alive.
Campus Crusade staff members and volunteers were in place long before that terrible Tuesday. Ironically, so were four of the stories included here—they had been scheduled for this issue many months ago.
Two months later, these men and women are still there. They continue to answer the cries of hopelessness with the promise found in Jesus Christ. Because hope can't be found in this world.
"It is either God or suicide," Dmitry admitted that day on the bench. He took a drag from his cigarette and started to cry again.
May these stories remind us that among the tears and ashes of ruin, God still stands, seeking and saving the lost. He is hope.
To learn how you can help go to www.911volunteer.com.