Saturday, May 3, 2008

The start of it all...

While I was pregnant, I had collected the necessary things to bring home baby. I had the high chair, bassinet, clothes, crib. But no baby to bring home.

I had decided that I would offer these things to a teen mom, but didn't know where to find one. I called the local higschools to see if they knew of one or two girls that may need this kind of thing and they directed me to the Adult Education Center. When I contacted them, I was surprised to learn that they had an actual program set up for teen moms to help them get their high school diploma while providing childcare and basic educational needs.

The woman I first had contact with was very nice and patient as I stuttered out that I had some things I'd like to give away. I didn't share the reason why, but I had a huge lump in my throat just the same. She told me that there are several girls there and to just *come on in* and take a look. Again, the doors of my mouth open and out flies a question something to the effect of "Well, do you have a Mentoring program there?" Huh? Did I say that out loud?

So she says "no" and that she would "love to hear any suggestions I might have". Gulp. There's the lump. I promptly hung up the phone and didn't call back for about 3 weeks. Seriously, it scared me. First of all, I don't know where that came from. Secondly, I thought it was too big for me. Here I was, feeling like Jonah. I was telling God I didn't want to go. But He had other plans.

During that time, my neighbor found a backpack in the alley between our houses. My neighbor brought the backpack into my house and left it there, I suppose for me to take care of it. Inside the sack were books and papers that didn't have any clear identifying information on them. The handwriting looked immature and heavy on the lead. I called a couple of the elementary schools to ask if they had a student by the name of **X*** and none of them did! What was I supposed to do now? This thing was a mess.

I kept the bag for a week or two on my kitchen table and finally it occurred to me that this bag belongs to someone that goes to the Adult Education Center. I figured out that the text books are from an ESL student. I felt so smart! Shortly after, I put the bag in my car with every intention to drop it by the center. But the opportunity never came up. Everytime I thought about it, I had the kids with me. And really, who wants to take a bunch of kids in and out of the car just to drop off a backpack? So there it stayed, in my car, for another week or two. Then one day, I was out and about without anyone, I realized it was time to turn it in.

When I drove there and parked, it dawned on me.. Hey! This is the same place with the teen moms! Ok Lord, very funny. An added irony in that is the alley where the backpack was found is sealed off and only the neighborhood kids go back there to play basketball.

Anyway, I turned in the backpack and meandered over to the area for the teen moms. I met with the woman over the phone and shared my heart with her. From there, I decided to volunteer once a week in the classrooms. My goal was just to befriend these girls. To let them know someone does care about them and to show them the love of Jesus.

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