During the school year, my small brood of 3 children balloons to 25 on Wednesday nights. For the last 3 years, I have had the opportunity to help my crazy friends bring in local children to our church's Awana night each Wednesday night.
If you've ever been there on Wednesday, you know where we are--the table at supper with 25 kids and us hovering to make sure that they're eating, not arguing, and not slipping out to the sanctuary early. It is tiring but we keep coming back each week. It is rewarding when they start to learn and understand bible stories. It's fulfilling when you've made a deep enough connection that you are at trick or treat and one of the kids comes running up to give you a hug. Did I mention that it can get tiring?
No matter how tiring it can get during the Awana year, we have a connection to those children. We have heard stories about what happens in their homes. We have fed them when we know they haven't eaten that day. Some of the children have lived in our homes for short periods of time. They become a part of our families. That is why it is so hard when they leave.
Last Sunday we found out that one of our most active families had moved. Without any notice, they moved to Georgia--no chance for goodbyes. I hope that we were able to make the most of the time we were with the kids. I have watched Joey mature from obnoxious to helpful, Seth begin to start piecing together the stories, Ashleigh actually wanting to learn, and Victoria love everyone.
This is the chance we take when we choose to form relationships with these great kids. They live in unstable families that we can't change or control. Our own children have learned about jail, eviction, and drugs because we choose to help these families. Some people think we're crazy because we drive in to Section 8 housing like we belong.
It is worth all the craziness for the chance to love those kids, show them some stability, and teach them about Jesus' love by loving them. If everyone was afraid to go there, how could any difference be made?
Think about who is in Your Village. Make sure you are taking advantage of the time you have!