Imagine 30 people in the size of my closet...
The morning started off with our PAL playgroup. We had 4 young children and two school age children join us that were not in school today. In addition to Angie and me, there were two church volunteers and one mom. One of the volunteers was actually a mom from Plastic City who let PAL use her large porch today. It was great to have her support not just for space, but for the fact that she participated and learned while she was doing it. It was an opportunity to encourage her in how she was helping the children and the skills she showed. Our mom who came with her three children was initially hesitant and unsure, but it was great to see her take the lead at times with her children. That is the goal. Yes, we are demonstrating fun learning activities to engage the children. And we are teaching the children important skills as we do it. But the best thing we can pass on is this: for the parent to engage their own child, to feel encouraged in their ability to be their child’s first teacher, as all parents are. But if you have never experienced a good example, you repeat all you have known.
Well, the title of this blog is based on this afternoon. PAL this afternoon was amazing. Literally, the kids kept pouring in. We had to change our planned site in Plastic City because of the rain yesterday. This was a blessing because our new location was so visible at the beginning of Plastic City. The porch we met on was good sized, but not when you put 25 children and five adults on it! Seriously, that is a lot of people on this porch, especially while you are doing activities! Some were new kids or kids that had not attended in a while. It was exciting to have a couple from secondary school (7th grade and up) attend. They are brave to be there, wanting help. It was a bit noisy and many bodies in one space, but God gave us just what we needed. When you have children begging you to repeat activities that help teach parts of speech or ask you bring another activity that was tough for them…something has gone very right! And those kids just drank in the attention and love. The kids know I am going back at the end of the week, but each day they ask “You be back tomorrow, right?” Today, a couple girls wanted to talk about when I leaving and when I am coming back after that. I told them I am not ready to talk about leaving, to the days we have ahead! I think in so many ways, I am getting more love poured into me, than I am pouring out. Their faces just light up from deep inside when they see us because they know we are here for them!! This afternoon I was helping out a group and one of the other girls wanted my help. I couldn’t get right to her, so she draped herself across my back and hugged me while I talked. Sometimes with kids that is to get us to come to them, but with her, it was just to get that closeness. She just wanted to be near me. I can not wait to see what tomorrow brings, to see what God is going to do. Because He has some God sized plans for Plastic City and the influence PAL is and will have. Who doesn’t want to be part of the desire of God’s heart to transform lives?
-Written by Stephanie
To see pictures of the team, click here!