F. O.U.R. (keep this number in your head)
Last week I had the privilege of serving a couple hours at an outreach in town for refugees from Spanish Speaking countries. Our group was in charge of childcare while the parents were in a small group.
Let me just say, this time totally rocked my socks off. The kids (while rambunctious) were adorable. And while most had no intention of speaking a lick of Spanish with me, they still opened up, even if it was just a little. One little girl colored with me for awhile. She had the most infectious laugh, and loved spending time with friends. She made a point of telling me bye before she left (which just makes me smile). One 16-month old girl walked up and down stairs with me- I am fairly positive her goal was to completely wear me out.
Each child was strong-willed, energetic, and were excited to play with “the big kids.” It was like for the 2 hours we were there, they completely forgot about the problems (which at the beginning most of us had no idea they had). After the kids headed upstairs, a few us us stuck around.
It was then that we found out….
In FOUR of these children’s homes there were cases of domestic violence within the past week.
One little girl was starving in her own home.
One little boy is in remission from leukemia. He is 5.
Did that just hit you like it hit me? I mean these little kids have more junk in their lives than I can even bring myself to comprehend.
As I was driving home I began to think about how I was going to my warm, well lit dorm room. Most of those kids would not have the same luxury. The more and more I thought about this, the more and more I wanted to turn around and hang out with those families more.
The more I think about it, the more I realize that there are so many families with young children struggling here, right where I live. And, for the most part, I am completely oblivious to this as I go about my day.
After I left, there was a song that came to my head, just the beat, not the words (don’t you hate when that happens?). I searched all weekend through my itunes to find it. It’s Jimmy Needham- Miss A Thing. This guy is a beast; I would suggest listening to it, or at least checking out the words.
I realized that when I can’t be there for them, God can. It was also awesome to really see that it doesn’t take getting out of the country to make a difference in someone’s life. While I was already planning on continuing to work with this organization, I simply cannot wait to get back.