Saturday, September 19, 2009
Visit to a Kids Home
This is a short post with only one picture, and that one is not my work. Rather, it is by someone I visited. The trip today was worthwhile in many ways. You see, our church riding group arranged to visit a nearby childrens' home that houses kids whose ages range from infant through eighteen.
We are going to visit two groups of kids. The first are between infant and about four years old, the second from five to nine.
The home houses kids in so called cottages, though that is something of a misnomer. The cottages are actually substantial buildings with home-style living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens. There are house parents who care for the kids in as close a setting to home life as possible. They do things together just as a family would.
The little ones come out first. There are about six of them. We immediately notice that they are polite and well behaved. Remember that these children come from various backgrounds and family situations. Some of them may have been hurt or neglected; yet here they were asking us for permission to sit on our motorcycles, and to don our helmets and gloves. Once they had done so, each one thanked us. Pictures were taken for their scrapbooks.
Next, the older children came out of their cottage. They too enjoyed sitting on the bikes and trying on the gear. We played with them a little, pretending that the helmet had become stuck on their heads and asking why the fingers on their small hands didn't reach to the ends of the gloves. Interestingly, all of the kids wanted the visor on the helmet to be closed for his picture. I guess they wanted to look like real bikers. Again, every one asked permission and thanked us afterward.
We took modest individual gift bags for them -- mostly snacks and school supplies. You would have thought we had given them bags of gold. They ooood and ahhhd and carefully looked over every item in the bags.
Later, we toured their cottages. Each child proudly showed off his room and a few of his belongings. Some of them were still looking over the contents of their bags when we had to leave.
The staff is hard working and labor for low pay. Their dedication is apparent in the way they treat their charges, and speak enthusiastically about them. Their work is a true ministry. This is literally true: Although none of the people we met is a minister, all who work there are Christians who are showing these kids the love God and Christ Jesus has for each of us.
Not all of these children will be success stories, but this little ministry in South Carolina will certainly help them through a tough time in their short lives.
By the way, the home is called Miracle Hill. This is because it is located on a hilltop, but it is also because a severe storm was headed for the home during a particularly critical construction day. Prayers were said and the storm miraculously parted and went on either side of the construction site. A worker who was helping that day called this Miracle Hill, and the name has stuck.
They have other ministries as well: A boys' shelter, several rescue missions, a shelter for battered women and children, monthly grocery provision for hindreds of families, addiction recovery, and several thrift stores. They can use your help in many ways: donations, work, and prayer.
The president and CEO of the ministry wrote a book about the repeated provision of God over the years that it has been in operation. It is entitled God Wears His Own Watch, Glimpses of God & Answered Prayer at Miracle Hill, by Reid Lehman. The title refers to the fact that God provides on His timetable, not man's. It is a quick and inspiring read and you can get a copy on Amazon.
We were touched and blessed by these kids and their temporary parents. One of them, a budding artist named Zachary, made a sketch of two of us and presented it to me. I think you will agree that it is a nearly perfect likeness of both of us.
Thank you Zachary and all the others. You made our day.