As we approach another Black History Month celebration, I would like to honor one of our great men in this community.
This man is intelligent, he is ambitious, he is anointed, he directs choirs, his had directed the Martin Luther King Celebration choir for a number of years, he is a giver, he is a great Bible teacher and he is a Godly preacher. You will see him on a Sunday with a suit and a tie, and on Monday morning at school with children, then Monday evenings cutting grass for the elderly. Saturdays, he is working at the funeral home, landscaping, refereeing at schools, taking photos for others. He is a very busy man.
I most admire my son for his travels to Haiti, time and time again, to help bring aid and relief to many Haitians. After his trip to Haiti, I remember him bringing his friend, Peter, who he meet in Haiti, to my home, it was a joy to meet him and find out more about this third-world country.
Ricky, along with other men of the community, Mr. Dwight Lucas and Mr. Edward Butler, went to Haiti after the devastation of the earthquake and the outbreak of cholera. I was so afraid for them going, but I remember my son saying,” Mom, God will take care of us as we do God’s work.” He has helped so many people in our community when he was employed at Community Action, reaching out and assisting others whether it be children, adults or seniors. He is never late for work or for church. I have recognized many others in times past but felt this was the year to celebrate one of my own.
He began taking in foster children and has had many come through his doors that he took care of, then two little girls (sisters) captured his heart and he adopted and raised them. Not only them, but many have called him dad or uncle Ricky out of respect and the love that has shown them.
Throughout the Danville community he has shared and given so much of his time to see that other youth can reach their God-given talent, by starting Lighthouse Youth Ministries. Then becoming CEO of Lighthouse Counseling Services, mentoring troubled youth here and in surrounding communities. There is not a stranger that he doesn’t know. Always making friends and showing himself friendly.
The Bible states in Proverbs 18:24, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” He has a servant’s heart for the Danville community, and not by word only but by his actions. Always helping others and doing it with a smile on his face. He had no hesitation about helping someone in need through monetary means, or through giving a helping hand. If anyone could make someone smile and feel loved, it is him.
I have always told my son that he gives too much and expects nothing. He loves unconditionally. Yes, he has faults, too. He isn’t always strong on the inside, even though he appears as if he is, but I can see the pain in his face at times when he comes to visit me. He is just as scared and uncertain as anyone else, but as my father, the late Simon Hunter, taught my brothers is that a good man has the courage to face his fears and protect his family.
Black history could not be celebrated if there were not pioneers in the past who have touched our lives with a particular kind of love such as agape love, or self-sacrificial, others-oriented love that places service to others as the foremost priority in one’s life. As a loving and caring mom, I always tell him to slow down, but he keeps on going because that’s who he is.
Beyond this passion for people, my son has the biggest heart of anyone I know. Even in the midst of his frustration (and yes, from time to time, he does feel frustration), Ricky shows love — pure, simple, unabashed love for everyone.
He is a limb from the Hunter family tree. I explained to him that he’s my greatest accomplishment, this baby that I carried and gave birth to has grown to do so many great things already. But I do see now that he’s an adult, and he has the ability to share his own accomplishments if he wishes (although he doesn’t). These accomplishments are not my accomplishments, but his. I can’t take credit for the amazing things my kids do — just for raising them to be kind, hard-working children.
So, I honor my own son, Ricky Hoskins, this Black History Month.