The Next Part of the Story (Ministry Blog – For the Love of Kids)

2 COR 8:7, 9, 13-15

Brothers and sisters:
As you excel in every respect, in faith, discourse,
knowledge, all earnestness, and in the love we have for you,
may you excel in this gracious act also.

For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
Not that others should have relief while you are burdened,
but that as a matter of equality
your abundance at the present time should supply their needs,
so that their abundance may also supply your needs,
that there may be equality.
As it is written:
Whoever had much did not have more,
and whoever had little did not have less
.

In our very first blog we told the story of a strong yet troubled child, today we would like to update the story. We will start with a paragraph from the original story…

I have to share one of the girls life story with you. She is 15, smart, beautiful, but has a troubled soul. Her story begins in Ukraine where she spent the first 5 years of her life in an orphanage, so no one loved her for the first 5 years. She was to be adopted by an American couple from Arizona! Hooray! A family to love her! But as she grows she has nightmares and bouts of depression. There are days when she doesn’t want to talk, to be “normal”. By the age of 10 her “parents” have had enough of her and decide to drop her off at the mental hospital (her words). She then bounced around from institution to institution for about a year and a half before landing in the foster care system. She was 11 and abandoned again. Eventually when she was 13, the state convinced her adopted parents that she was all better and they should take her back, which they did for a short time. “They didn’t even tell me it was for me, they said dad had a doctor’s appointment, then they left me there again”…She was 14. Today she is 15, in a group home and would like to graduate high school early and go to college to be a forensic pathologist.

Fast forward to January of 2018, “Ey” GRADUATED HIGHSCHOOL! A year and a half early! She was able to leave the group home and move in with a foster family shortly after graduation. She did this while working, sometimes 2 jobs, going to school during the day along with night classes and the personal support of our ministers.  It was not always fun and roses, along the way there were many bumps in the road. At times her drive and determination clashed with her need to be a “normal” teenage kid.  She numbed her mind at times with drugs, one time it ended with her in the hospital. Silly mistakes for which she was so apologetic, when we went to see her on her release from the hospital. “EY” said “I know it was stupid, I’m sorry for making you worry.” We just hugged and told her we care, so please not again. There was no repeat of the drug induces foolhardy behavior, as far as we know. Since January we have not seen or spoken with “EY”.

A week ago my wife and I were exiting a movie theater passing the popcorn stand heading for the exit when we heard someone calling, “Laurie!”. We turned to see a young lady running out from behind the counter toward us, it was “EY”. She gave my wife the biggest of hugs so very excited to see us. She caught us up on her life and her future plans, she is planning to attend a community college in the fall to take her basics so she can move on to ASU to major in medicine. She is back to working two jobs and is happy as a lark with her ever present larger than life smile.

After we gave our good bye hugs and headed out my brother and sister-in-law came over to us. They had walked away during the visit, and they went on and on about the chance encounter. They knew we worked with foster kids but were amazed by the impact that this ministry has had on that child’s life. Our ministry is impacting children in the foster care system on a daily basis and it is so rewarding to see the fruits of our labor. We usually measure our successes in tiny droplets of love and compassion; it is not often that we see a bucket full.

This is a very powerful ministry; we are in their space, impacting their lives. Do you have space in your heart to help out with one visit a month? Do you have an hour and a half to make a difference in the lives of teenage girls? If so please contact us for further information.

“For the Love of Kids” a St. Patrick ministry | Laurie Wheeler 602-499-1928 | fortheloveofkidsministry(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)gmail.com