Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Faces of hope...

This was a hard day.

My students were all in crisis. One mother said accusingly, "You did not bring any answers for me."

She's right. I have few solutions to her multitude of problems. As I tried to help today, I often felt overwhelmed and discouraged. That's when I focused on the faces of these people who have become so precious to me. (photo removed by request)Walk with me through this day. I'll tell you each crisis I met, and then we'll look at the faces of hope. The people in the photos are not the ones described, but they are all my beloved students and their families.A mother was very sick -- high blood pressure, a headache, and seven children under age 11 running all over the house. Many of the youngest kids were without underwear. The older ones are failing in school. The oldest boy showed me the teacher's record of his daily behavior: two weeks of frowny faces. His mother instructed me to tell him that if he didn't do better, the police would put him in jail. He's in first grade. Sigh . . . (photo removed by request)

Another mother had talked to her oldest son in Tanzania. He is 21, too old to flee to America with his family. He has no food and no house. His brother told me that people are putting refugees into burlap sacks, dousing them with kerosene, and setting them on fire. The family is frantic with worry.A young woman sat silently on the sofa. She is always in pain from the brutal beating and rape she endured at age 16. Her body is disfigured and she walks with a limp. Today she could not muster a smile.In another home, a young woman confessed to a relationship with a married man. He gives her money and presents. But he is also abusive, and she is afraid to leave him. She has lost her legal paperwork -- all the documents she needs in order to find a job.An empty bottle of vodka lay on the landing near the apartment of another family. I asked the father about it. He told me he stopped drinking two years ago. I have seen his eyes red and his voice slurred. I am trying to believe him, but I will watch him closely in the coming months. (photo removed by request)

(photo removed by request)

I call these "my people." Far more important, they are God's people. He knows them intimately, each loss, each fear, each pain. He loves them more than they can ever imagine. Please pray that the love of Jesus will shine through me. On fun days . . . and on hard days, too.

1 comment:

Dina said...

If a bird is flying for pleasure, it flies with the wind, but if it meets danger it turns and faces the wind, in order that it may fly higher.

~Corrie Ten Boom

Heavenly Father, give us courage to see HOPE, as we face the wind...allowing YOU to take us up higher...where in YOUR PRESENCE is fullness of JOY.

Don't grow weary in well doing Palmer family...the rippling effect of your PRESSING IN, is affecting more than you realize!
In HIS HOPE with you,