Monthly Archives: October 2011

bittersweet.

Last year I spent a lot of time praying that God would show me how to better empathize with people, and now I often regret that request!  Not really…but there are most certainly times when I wonder what the heck I was thinking.  Never before have I been able to fully comprehend the phrase “emotional roller coaster”.  One minute I am celebrating a new job with a family, and the next I’m trying to figure out what to say to the girl who just can’t seem to get her life together.

Then there are moments that are bittersweet. Last night a family moved into their new duplex, which was a Praise God moment for sure! But at the same time, I was so sad to see them go. In the short time that they were here, I grew so attached to their 5 little kids that I often found myself just waiting in my office for them to show up after school so that I could ask them about their day.

This cycle goes on, though. Sometime soon, another family will show up with kids who steal my heart by drawing me pictures and reminding me of the joy that can be found in the smallest things. And regardless of how long they’re here, or what their situation is, or how crazy they make me feel, I will try to love them like Jesus does. Because that’s the most important thing.

On a different note, some of you may know that one project that I’ve been working on is a little something I like to call 125. The more official name is kid’s chapel, but I prefer the simplicity that the number brings. Plus it’s the room number. Plus James 1:25 is a rockin’ verse…feel free to look it up!

Anyway, it is up and running as of October 6th, and it is going fantastically despite a lack of consistent volunteers. The kids love it (in fact, many of them show up 20 minutes before it starts and then tell their parents they never want to move out of the Mission…), they get to hear about what God wants to do in their lives, and those of us who are privileged enough to teach get to learn a lot, too! For example, before this week, I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell you that Naaman was the guy who got healed from leprosy by dipping himself in some scummy water.

One of the most interesting things about 125 is that most of the kids coming have no preconceived notions about what it should be like. We could give them dinosaur coloring sheets and they’d pretty much be set for life. Which, admittedly, is tempting when I haven’t had very much time to plan for whatever reason. I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that I haven’t given into that temptation, and I don’t plan to! The fact that this is a new experience for them also means we get to tell them Bible stories for the first time, and that…they don’t always know what constitutes appropriate classroom behavior.  This often results in chaos.  Fun, frustrating chaos.  So if you’re coming up short on things to pray for, shoot up some prayers for these kids and all of us who get to work with them!

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a zoo and an empty threat.

Several weeks ago, a family showed up in a car filled with stuff. I was surprised they were able to fit 3 people in there. It seemed, too, that the same amount of stuff that was in the car was also on top of the car, covered and held on by a tarp. I started talking with them about why they were here, where they came from, what their lives are about, etc. when I realized that there was a dog in the car. So I hooked them up with the number for a pet shelter and headed back into my office to get some paperwork done while they figure things out. Pretty soon, one of our volunteers came running in. She runs everywhere…think of someone really excitable. Multiply that by 6. It makes for some exciting times, for sure.

I hope by now that you know that I’m ‘J’ in all of these conversations, but I thought I’d make sure just in case:

K: Did you see that car??

J: Yep. They have a dog and…

K: No. They have TWO dogs.

J: Well, they’re calling the animal shelter, so everything should be good.

K: Okay, well, they also have 2 cats. and 5 kittens. and “a few” bearded dragons.

Later I watched as one of the dogs (a pit bull. of course.) tried to attack and eat the other dog while they were both on someone’s lap.

Another almost-as-fun thing occurred last Sunday, when a woman told me she’d make sure the President heard about what I was doing…to clarify, that was a threat.  I’m leaving out the other choice things she said to me because they just weren’t as funny.  Or appropriate.  This particular rant came about because I wouldn’t let her back into her room (It’s against the rules for various reasons, I wasn’t just being a jerk) and I think she thought that hearing her drop Obama’s name would make me want to grant her every wish immediately.

I really can’t make this stuff up. And even if I could, I wouldn’t want to.