August 8, 2009

It has been over a month since my last post and a crazy month it has been. I mentioned some of this is my last post, but so much more has happened.

About 6 weeks ago, Wes, the deacon at my church called and asked if I wanted to come and work in the garden on Saturday. I had nothing going on and so decided to join him and some others. While we were working, a small boy wandered up. He had the look of a kid who wanted to do something so I invited him to join me. Through conversation I found out he was 5. His mother was a couple blocks away and not watching him at all. He had a key so that he could go home when he wanted. Through conversation with Wes afterwards I learned that this was common in our neighborhood. I had heard and read about the term "latch key kids" but here it was a reality. Parents were often busy and couldn't afford afterschool and summer programs to keep the kids entertained. So instead the kids were just left to hang out at home or run around the neighborhood and take care of themselves. Wes began telling me about the afterschool program and the summer camp the church was running and I immediately felt called. I needed to do this. I didn't think I could afford it and I had just started another job, but I didn't care. I needed to be doing this. Circumstances ended up that I was able to back out of my job and I decided to live on loans for the summer and I was able to begin working with the summer camp.

We have gone 5 weeks and have 1 left and I have loved it. At times it has been incredibly stressful. Wes and I are the only ones who have been there everyday and then the rest of the time the camp has been staffed by volunteers. Some come on a semi-regular basis, but others only come for the day and then are gone. This presents many, many challenges. We have 60 kids that have tons of energy and most were born in places outside the United States; Mexico, Nigeria, Tanzania, Jamaica, etc.

Though there have been many challenges I have loved what I have been doing and realized that this is what I am called to. We have been working and figured out a way to set up a Federal Work Study position to pay me to work in the afterschool program. I felt really committed and realized there was a lot more work than could be covered by this work study position, so I decided I wanted to switch my internship site to the church.

Things have just continued to snowball. Now, if all works out as planned, I will get to work with the kids camp, the afterschool program, and mission groups that will come and work at our church. And the most exciting part is that all of this will hopefully be leading into a full time job.

I have never felt so called to something in my entire life. I have had an on-again off-again relationship with the church and I think part of that may be that I was running from the fact that I was called to work in something faith-based. This position, if it becomes a reality, covers so many positions that I have dream of as my "dream jobs" and there is a huge need. Everything seems to be falling into place which makes me believe that there is a higher power than just us involved in this whole process.