Monday, January 06, 2014


These kids.  Beauty.

When we began exploring the possibility of moving here to the Reservation to join Sacred Road about six years ago, we really had no idea what the Lord had for us.  We figured it would have something to do with teaching, working with children and as we explored more, the ideas grew and blossomed.  The Kingdom Kids program is still in its baby stages, I think, compared to where it will be a few years down the road and we will look back and think of all the things we wish we knew now but for now, things are moving. 

Today was the first day following the Christmas break, and Mondays are the day that I am able to help while my girls play quietly on the floor nearby.  The van pulls into our driveway, loaded with kids - 11 today - and I dash out to greet them, following them into our Clubhouse next door.  

How do I describe my joy in seeing each one of them again?  There's Nate, oh good, he was at school again in spite of the break.  And Gerald, the newest Kingdom Kid, grinning happy to be here and telling a joke while he tromps into the Clubhouse.  And at the back of the line the fifth grade girls smiling and quietly chattering, those girls for whom my mother-heart aches.  

I sit at a table, Yahtzee set out and ready, and those same girls gather around me, gossiping about school and haircuts and which dice to keep on their turn and which to re-roll. One girl struggles to understand the rules, struggling with the basic multiplication when she rolls 2 sixes, so I slow everyone down for a second to make sure she gets it.  The other girls help, and I note the lack of impatience or judgment that would be typical in another setting but here, today, is absent.  They are like sisters; no, they are sisters, helping each other comfortably figure out how to make the dice work best.

I work today with Jaime, baby strapped to my back happy in the carrier. Jaime, who told me a couple weeks ago that he has decided to be an artist when he's grown, and he could be too, with the meticulous detail he puts into each artistic creation (and I rejoiced to hear a child talk of their dream for some day here).  Jaime works hard in spite of how hard (and admittedly boring) the homework pages are.  I wish I could assess his skill level with reading and language comprehension more closely today but the homework page isn't optimal for getting a good sense of his abilities with reading beyond the fact that it is too hard for him to complete independently.  I wish I had some of the resources at my fingertips that I had when I worked in a clinical setting - just the resources because it takes hours of research to find or design the right kind of materials I have in mind for assessing or teaching concepts.  

We head early to the Cougar Den for an ice cream surprise!  The ice cream machine is broken, so it's ice cream sandwiches and cones from the ice chest, and each boy and girl make their choice and eat the sweets (milk and sugar are correlated with love, the experts say...) and the kids on the bench make bracelets for my little ones, whose eyes light up at the attention and the gift, and the sister-friends who make faces at my baby to make her smile and kiss my toddler's soft cheek.  All these beautiful children, these ones who reflect their Creator in their eyes and features and smiles and skills. They load into the van to return to their homes and I load my little ones to return to our home and I whisper a prayer

That they would walk in His ways all their days

That they would know they are beautiful and seen beautiful by the One who defines Beauty by His very self

That they are worth more to Him than His life

 and that He would hold them in the palm of His hand in all the storms to come.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:11 PM

    This was lovely, Sarah. Thank you.