Monday, October 26, 2009

Grandparents Day at CDA

The boys were lucky enough to have both sets of grandparents at school for this celebration. Each class prepared a short presentation for all the grandparents. The kindergarden class recited a poem and sang a song and first grade sang songs for them. Very sweet to watch.:o) After the presentation they gave out awards for the 'most mature'...aka...oldest grandparent:o) We thought my dad would have a running but we didn't know great-grandparents were there as well and a 90 year old won that one. But Leslie and Betsy were surprised to win a prize for the furthest travelled grandparents! Thank you mom, dad, Leslie and Betsy for coming to our grandparents day at school!
Do you see my mom's hand in the picure shoving food in Caitlin's mouth??
Caitlin and Grammie
Caitlin thinks she's a big girl...I guess she's ready for school:o)
And Happy Birthday to Dad!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Meet Dajia!!

Dajia (pronounced Day-jah) is our mentee who we met for the first time last weekend. We have been anxiously awaiting this visit for some time now. This past summer I took a class at our church called 'Hope Lives'. I was moved to take this class for a variety of, being, just plain confused and not sure of how to respond to poverty. How do I respond to the beggars on the side of the road? What is my role in the fact that billions of people on this earth live on less than a dollar a day? A quote I heard in class that I liked from Mother Theresa was "If you can't feed a hundred people then feed just one."

The other reason I took the class was just a desire to know God's heart and how He feels about poverty. Wow, was learning that wholly convicting. Especially Isaiah 58...

"Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Tell my people Israel (insert Lisa) of their sins! Yet they act so pious! They(Lisa) come to the temple every day and seem delighted to hear my laws. You would almost think this was a righteous nation that would never abandon its God. They(Lisa) love to make a show of coming to me and asking me to take action on their behalf. "We have fasted before you!", they say. 'Why aren't you impressed? We have done much penance, and you don't even notice it!'
'I will tell you why! It's because you (Lisa) are living only for yourselves even while you are fasting. You keep right on oppressing your workers. What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me. You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like a blade of grass in the wind. You dress in sackcloth and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord?
"No, the kind of fasting I want calls you (Lisa) to free those who are wrongly imprisoned and to stop oppressing those who work for you. Treat them fairly and give them what they earn. I want you (Lisa) to share your food with the hungry and welcome poor wanderers into your homes. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help."
And I love Micah 6:8 "The Lord has already told you what is good, and this is what He requires:to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."

I loved my class and the journey it took me on to see inside the Lord's heart. I knew it was in his kindness that prompted me because He knows that I've been all about me all my life and He knows there is no life, there is no joy, there is no peace in a life that is all about me. This journey was for my good and for his glory. And for His glory indeed. I don't want to do 'good things' to make myself feel better, out of guilt or out of pride...that's only feeding my guilt and/or ego. I want a motive of love and compassion. And I can't muster either one of those on my own strength to look outside of myself which is why I am so thankful that I can rely on, and rest in, His love and His compassion.

So this journey led me to Dajia. I heard about the ministry of Mercy Street and spent months talking and praying with Brian and our community group over this decision to mentor because its a big commitment. They ask you to walk through life with your mentee until they graduate from high school. Brian's excitement and our desire to have a family ministry solidifed what I was already feeling. So we signed up over a month ago and have been eagerly awaiting our first visit. And it was great. She is a doll and I can't wait to spend more time with her and get to know her better. She lives in West Dallas, which is comprised of about 23,000 people and is the 11th poorst neighborhood in the country. Mercy Street's mission is to transform the community from generational poverty to a thriving, successful community. And they believe the best way to do that is through relationships so we can help them make good choices, share God's love for them and spur them on to do great things. This journey with Dajia, I have no doubt, will bring lots of joy but I know it will also be hard at times. Relationships are hard and are often messy, but that's ok, becase I know I don't have to rely on myself to make everything perfect and good. That's God's job.

Next week we are going to have ice cream with her and then soon after that the kids and I are going to go eat lunch with her at her school. I love that the kids are able to see a life outside of our "Christian bubble" and I hope that as they walk with us in this journey, they too, will grow in compassion and love for all people.

This is a picture of all of us including Dajia's mom, Lakiesha and her brother Treveon.

Here is a pictre of Treveon and Caleb, they are the same age and within minutes they were running around outside with each other and wrestling. Treveon's got quite a spunk in his spirit. When we first met he jumped on me and said, "HI I'M TREVEON!" And then he went to Brian and said, "Can I come to yo house?";o) Gotta love it.