Too often, the world becomes about us and our own personal wants and needs. Mike and I have been desiring for our girls to experience the rewards of community service. God turned that desire into reality recently, as my girls and I had the opportunity to be involved with some good friends at an inner-city outreach held at a park.
I was excited about this opportunity, but I’ll be honest. I was also nervous because it meant stepping out of my comfort zone. Meeting new hearing people, having them get used to my deaf “accent” and trying to lipread little kids can be a bit daunting. But the bottom line is this: kids just need love.
And love transcends all communication barriers.
Lunch was provided for the fifty-some kids and their families that showed up at the park. A large blue tarp was spread out on the ground, filled with activities like coloring, beading, face painting and tattooing (with fake ink of course). The kids surrounded us, begging for their turn. Sweet kids. Some were loud and outgoing, and some were shy and withdrawn. Katie relished in her role as make-up artist to the delighted kids, while Annie served as the water girl, making sure we had enough water for the paint.
Five little girls sat around us, waiting to have their faces painted. They were all sisters and looked to be not even a year apart in age. The older two were quiet, their faces etched with responsibility beyond their years. Those kids captured my heart.
Funny how we came to give, but they were the ones who gave.
Following the activities was a short program on “God is love” where the kids sang songs and talked about His love.
Water balloons were also on the agenda, as the kids gleefully bombarded each other (and the grown-ups too!) with balloons. Coolers of ice were dumped and the kids enjoyed “ice skating” (and trying to slip ice down our backs!).
Annie and Katie with their new, sweet friend Destiny.
We were at the park for about two hours–such a short time, yet such a long-lasting impact on our lives.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” I John 4:16