This week, my group and I spent a few hours each day at a kids program here in Houston. Though I talked to the program director each day I never really spent too much time with her. She always seemed incredibly busy and I was focused on spending time with the energetic kids. I had come to serve the kids, thus I would pour myself completely into them. We all had a great time diving into each day's activities. We were entertained by things such as four square, mancala, and Father's Day crafts.
On the last day one of the youth leader's from my group, Steve, left while we had some free time to go find a gift for the program director. Due to long lines and not enough time, he decided to just get a card. The students all signed the card and just before we left Steve handed the card to her. I expected that she would be appreciative but did not anticipate the following reaction.
With tears in her eyes, she told him that she had been getting ready to leave her job. Now if you ever meet this woman you will see that she is one of the strongest, most loving individuals. She knows each one of the kid's names, their parents, and even little quirks about them.
She told Steve that the only reason she would stay was because she needs the kids in her life. Steve then told her "and they need you too". These were exactly the words that she needed to hear. I hope and pray that this encouragement will give her the strength she needs to continue along for as long as our Father desires.
I am thankful for my group's kindness and the wakeup call that they have given me. They have shown me the importance of really taking the time to encourage the individuals that work at our ministry sites. It is certainly a blessing for us to come in and play with the kids or organize a closet. However, we can be a blessing in encouraging those that keep the programs afloat. I am thankful that even though I might go somewhere with one specific intention, God usually has more than just one.
-Courtney, CSM Houston Summer 2010 City Host