By: Emily Conley
“But the Lord was with him.”
After listening to Kelvin Cochran tell his story for this issue of Faith & Justice magazine, that line from the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis came to mind. It’s a fitting summation of Kelvin’s remarkable story.
In Genesis, Joseph endures significant trials – hated by his brothers, sold into slavery in a foreign country, falsely accused and imprisoned – but because “the Lord was with him and gave him success in all he did,” he always rose above adversity. His gift for leadership and God’s blessing led to rapid promotions, from slave to prime minister of the country, in the span of thirteen years.
Kelvin Cochran shared with us some of the adversity he faced, such as extreme poverty and brutal racism, but in spite of it, he said, “I never saw myself as a victim of circumstances.” His hard work and a natural gift for leadership helped him climb through the ranks of firefighting at a record-setting pace. Like Joseph, God clearly gave him “success in all he did.” In his tenure as the first African-American fire chief of Shreveport, there were no firefighter deaths or even serious injuries. Equally important to Kelvin Cochran was his record of bringing together diverse people and ensuring a tolerant, discrimination-free environment, so that no one would have to experience what he endured.
That’s why being fired for “discrimination” especially stings.
Joseph’s story ends happily: he’s promoted to oversee the entire kingdom, he saves many lives in the famine that comes, and he even reconciles with his brothers. Will Kelvin’s childhood dream be resurrected from the ashes? It remains to be seen, but full reconciliation may not come, at least in this lifetime.
Yet someday, I’m confident that Kelvin will be able to say, as Joseph did, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.”
You won’t want to miss Kelvin’s story in this issue of F&J. Also in this issue:
- Author and nationally-syndicated columnist Ben Shapiro talks about why he keeps showing up to speak on college campuses in the face of protests and riots, and the value in debating with those with opposing views.
- The Wunderlichs faced a homeschooling family’s worst nightmare, but now their case could free parents across Europe to educate their children according to their values.
- Norvilia Etienne thought the hardest part of starting a pro-life club on her college campus would be answering God’s call, but she found out just how wrong she was when her college tried to silence her.
My hope is that this magazine leaves you inspired by the courage of people just like you, who – when trials came – put their hope in an extraordinary God.
I hope it also leaves you motivated. Motivated to pray for the people you’ll read about in these pages and motivated to join with ADF to defend them. And most of all, motivated to live out your faith boldly, with the assurance that the Lord is with you.
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P.S. Thoughts or comments on this issue? Email me at Editor@adflegal.org. And if you’d like to have the FREE print edition delivered to your mailbox four times a year, call us at 800-835-5233.