Thursday, June 3, 2010
In You the Fatherless find compassion
"It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them." ~Hosea 11:3&4
So the first week of summer program has come and gone and the second week is almost over. I have barely had time to breath, but it has already proven to be a wonderful and rewarding experience. I would be lying if I didn't admit how tough it has been at times. These kids have seen volunteers come and go quickly, so they have a hard time trusting that we are going to stick around. In general, the preschoolers are a lot of fun. They have an easy time trusting new people and just thrive in all of the love and attention they get with us. Many of them have learning disabilities or are developmentally delayed in some way. There is a little boy named Aydon who is a pistol. He literally cannot sit still and runs off the first chance he can get. But his smile is adorable and when you spend time with him one-on-one he just wants to be loved. It's easy to get frustrated or overwhelmed with these kids. We have a few "runners" who take off without warning, but each intern is learning which kids simply need attention and which kids have special needs. There is another little boy named Ivan who is four years old. He doesn't speak English, but every time I see him he lights up and hugs me. That is maybe one of the best feelings in the world.
The elementary kids are different. It has been a slow uphill battle with our 11&12 year old class. When me & my co-teacher first started, they did everything they could to scare us away. They were disrespectful, loud, and just plain mean to us. That first Thursday we taught them, I went home and cried. But slowly we have seen change in the kids as they begin to trust us and even like us. One girl, Annie, was out to get me the first week I was here. She called me names, lost her temper and even walked out of class. Now she is our star student, always listening, answering questions in class and staying late to help us clean up the classroom. She is the girl who yells at the other kids to be quiet and listen to us. It's hard to express how rewarding it is to see those changes. While its easy to get preschoolers to like you, working with the older kids is gratifying for different reasons. Though it is difficult, it's so fulfilling to see the change and maturity our class is starting to show.
The Lord has definitely given me a heart for these kids. Each day I am amazed at how much joy I see in them and how much of a blessing they are to me. I am learning about each child individually and what their home lives are like. It is important to have perspective on where they come from in order to help reach them. The Lord is also teaching me to see them through His eyes. Though I can get frustrated, I believe the Lord is teaching me patience and unconditional love for these kids. I will hold on to the promise that the Lord loves all of them far more than I am able to, and He holds them in his hands.
"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." ~ Zephaniah 3:17