For the Love of Kids: Living the Beatitudes
The Beatitudes are the teaching of Jesus from his Sermon on the Mount, Mathew 5:1-10. In our ministry we see the light of Jesus in every interaction we have with the children of God. If you have not read any of our prior blogs, the For the Love of Kids Ministry works with children in group home foster care. We minister to them at least once a week, showing love and compassion through games, classes, projects, outings and retreats. We have 30 girls in three group homes ranging in age from 13 – 19 years old. When they age out, or have to leave the homes, we try to maintain contact and offer support, but sadly that usually doesn’t come to a happy ending. Less than 25% of kids in group home foster care graduate from high school, even fewer utilize the systems in place to assist them in any advanced or technical educational programs. Thus, sad to say that most will end up on the streets or in jail. We have over 20 wonderful volunteer ministers within our ministry, But we need more, with more we can do more, we can help more. You could easily affect change in a child’s life forever with just a smile, a kind hello or words of encouragement.
BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT, FOR THEIRS IS THE KINDOM OF HEAVEN
Blessed are the poor in spirit, or we could say blessed are the burdened, the downtrodden. This is a story of a wonderful young lady we met just before her 15th birthday. Amaigh had a look in her eye, a forlorn look, distant, not believing that anyone could help. That September she wanted to join the junior police force in Phoenix. She needed a ride to the initial sign up meeting so we took her, twice. She aced the testing but could never get all her paperwork together. The school let her down, they didn’t have all her records. The house mom said it would be too hard to get her there every Saturday. She was very defeated, again.
The more time we spent with Amaigh the more she opened up about her past. Bouncing from family member to foster care, back to family, only to be rejected again and sent back to foster care. Now she felt too old for any family to want her, almost 15.
On her 15th birthday she told me “Wow, I didn’t think I would make it to be 15.” This wasn’t the first time I heard this kind of statement from a child, but it never makes it any easier to hear. The feeling that they don’t have a future, and no sense of belonging is what leads so many children down the road to alcohol, drugs, and babies making babies.
Amaigh now 18 has been an integral part of the atmosphere of the home, the leader. Her calming presence is felt by everyone who lives or visits the home. She has taken part in 4 Teen Life Retreats, she has spilled her guts to the world in an effort to help others realize the pitfalls of her life have made her stronger. She has this pride, a power about her “I am going to make it”.
Amaigh will graduate this year from high school at the top of her class. She is so excited to see the future ahead of her. Already accepted into NAU, UA, but she will be attending her true first choice ASU to study Forensic Science. We are so proud of her, she has come so far, such a bright future.
Her future sure will be the Kingdom of Heaven, as long as we are by her side she has a chance. Can you imagine your children with out support or guidance at 18? We will be there.
BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL, FOR THEY WILL BE SHOWN MERCY
I say we because there is a collective we, 20+ ministers who give tirelessly to this amazing cause. They are the Merciful. They give of themselves, their time and their treasure for the children. An enormous thank you to all our volunteers, their dedication is amazing. One of the most Merciful of women is now an angel watching over the children now. Priscilla gave of herself more than anyone could have thought possible. The children were so moved by her. They truly loved when she was with them, their smiles would grow and her kindness would flow out in immeasurable ways. Thank you to all who help make this ministry happen, to Laurie with her unwavering dedication, she leads the charge daily. Blessed are these women and men for they are the Merciful, for they will be shown Mercy.
We will not let go of Amaigh, we will not leave her side.
We are here for the long haul and we will not go away.
That is what For the Love of Kids Ministry is about; helping with love in any way we can.