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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Reaching Out

Hope loves to talk about her day upon reaching the front door after school. She tells me about her class work, her friends, her teachers, and her inevitable struggle with her locker. J  Last week her demeanor darkened when she shared about another girl, one who was not being friendly. I inquired about what was happening, and Hope said that this girl was staring at her with a not-so-nice expression. This is not the first time Hope has experienced judgment by her peers; she lived it daily in China for being an orphan. Sadly, she saw that ostracism knows no boundaries.

I tried to explain that some people feel threatened by new things and people and that people will either run away or fight whatever scares them.  Hope was amazed that anyone could be scared of her! I also talked about how people often act in ways that do not reflect the truth. I didn’t know how much Hope truly understood, but she seemed more relaxed when we finished our conversation.

Our church’s youth group has been getting ready for their big evangelistic event of the year.  The kids have been putting up posters, making U-Tube videos, posting invites on Facebook and handing out postcards to their friends.  Hope also has been inviting her friends for weeks so she always keeps a stack of the postcards with her. The day after she told me about her unfriendly classmate she came home from school, ready to download her day as usual. The first thing she shared? She saw this particular girl scowling at her but instead of turning away, Hope approached her, handed her a card for the youth group event, and invited her to come. Hope said that the girl didn’t look so angry afterwards! What a victory for Hope!

Although Hope still struggles with English comprehension, fear of marching in band, and being able to follow along with all of her classes, she has demonstrated poise and character beyond her years. She no longer wears the scarlet letters: O for Orphan, U for Unwanted, W for Worthless.  Instead, she wears a mantle of love and acceptance and value and worth. She knows that she is our child, she is learning that she is God’s child, and she is acting on what she believes.

All my best,