Sunday, March 6, 2011

A story...

So, we have this thing called a "communique" at church - it's kinda a mix between a newsletter and a magazine - i think. it's articles about what's happening in our church, more at a relational and spiritual level rather than a programatic level... anyhow - i had to write an article for this month's edition and i wanted to share it, cause i think it's a pretty big deal that i wrote it. I was suppose to write about my ministry and what's going on - so i tried - but it was boring and more about program really... so i changed my direction. 

i recently changed the volunteer schedule (well, i'm in the process of changing it) so that people sign up for 1 service a month to work with the kids - seems like it would make ppl want to sign up more right - only 1 service a month so simple (compared to the every service for 3 month commitment they had been use to) but instead, people seem to get caught up on the idea that they can't possibly make an impact in just an hour a month... so - i wrote an article about a girl who's life was changed by somebody believing in her in one simple moment, things started changing. 

So - check it out - let me know what you think. 

One Hour a Month - how you can change a life. 
So, you’ve seen the posters, you’ve heard noises coming from down the hall, and maybe you’ve even heard rumors of kids running wildly through the halls during quiet moments. But what’s really going on? If you’ve stopped to read the revolution posters you’ve noticed that it talks about a community where kids know that they are unconditionally loved, safe, cared for, and believed in. Well, that is exactly what is going on. So, what can you do? Get involved. All you have to do it sign up to help for 1 hour a month (one sunday morning service). That’s right - ONE hour a month. 
Right, so now you’re probably thinking - an hour, that’s pretty simple, but I can’t make a difference in just one hour a month - can i? Well, i have a little story to tell you that should clear up this mental predicament you’re in. 
Once upon a time in a land far far away (2,500 miles is “far far away” right?) there lived a girl that had lived through a horrific childhood - parents’ that were totally absent and ignored her even when they were around, family members that beat her, verbally tore her to shreds, used her body for their sexual pleasure, and in every way treated her like she was worthless. She was a strong kid, but didn’t really know it, she had been told lies for so much of her life that they had become her truth. She believed she was worthless, used, ugly, would never succeed at anything, and that no one would ever like her. She learned to put on a smile, laugh, and to become invisible in every way. But all of this was a secret to the people she went to school with, and the people who she interacted with - they only saw a girl who smiled, got good grades, and had a home with two parents to go home to every night. No one knew the secret nightmare that she lived in every day. 
One day, when she was about 16, her and her friends had found a “coffee house” to hang out at. A place where they could go to get away from the worries of their lives, play cards, drink soda, and just be kids. This coffee house was staffed by volunteers from local churches, but everyone went to church in this town, so they didn’t really think much of it. The workers at the coffee house became friends with this group of kids, especially with the girl. They would talk, play cards, and just hang out with the kids while they were there - and they treated them like normal people, not like kids (like most adults did in this town). 
There came a time when this girls life got so hard, with pressures of school, and friends, and the nightmare that was her “home” that all she wanted to do was die - it had to be better than going home. One night, in particular, her whole family would be at her house  and she knew that when she got home she would be treated as property and forced to do unspeakable things. That very night, she was at the coffee house waiting for her friends to come and save her from having to go home - but they never came - with the fear of going home had her almost in tears. At that moment one of the coffee house staff came over, sat down at the table she was sitting at all alone, smiled at her in a way no one had ever done before, asked if she was okay and gave her a hug - something so simple but something that no one had ever cared enough to do before. In that moment, something inside her changed. It didn’t happen all at once, but knowing that one person cared about her was enough to give her the strength to make it through another day. To face the fear of walking into the nightmare she faced at home, and to start fighting for truth. 
What can one hour do? What can one small moment of belief in a child do? It can change their entire life. 
What happened to the girl? The Lord is using her life and her story in big ways. If you want to know more, just come ask me. I’ll tell you all about my story - and how one moment one someone caring for me changed my entire life. 

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