in which i fall in love with jr. high kids
Some days I feel like I have my hand in just about every area of the church (which I guess is bound to happen in a church our size - 500 - when you and the senior pastor are the only full-time ministry staff) Last night I did one of the staples since I took this job – family movie night.
Last week I had a helper in children's church who was telling me about how she was about to start meeting with the Jr. High girls part of the Seeds of Hope ministry - a ministry in town that seeks to provide opportunities and help to those in poverty and/or challenging home situations. She asked if one of the mission projects she could do with the girls was come and help with movie nights this summer. I love the Seeds of Hope ministry, and I love Debbie, so my answer was an immediate yes.
So last night Debbie and the girls arrived about an hour before the movie to help me set up the room, pop popcorn and get the sodas ready for the concession stand. I already knew 3 or the 4 girls she brought, which was a bonus. I hadn't seen them since last year, though, and I noticed what beautiful young women they are turning into. Sweet spirit, sweeter smiles and wonderful respectful attitudes about everything.
All night they were a wonderful help. Constantly asking me what they could do... making an effort to look around and make things as nice and organized as possible. Then after the movie we threw the volleyball around a bit, vacuumed up the popcorn and went home.
These wonderful girls don't have much of a chance in life. Teenage pregnancy is extremely common in this part of the world, and one of the girls was telling me that she had eight siblings at home, not including a sister who just left (she turned 18) and a mom now pregnant again. The Seeds of Hope ministry works to give them chances they wouldn't normally have, and Debbie meets with these girls and several others twice a week in the summer to mentor them, share Jesus with them, and be a wonderful presence in the lives.
Ah… this is water for my soul.