Sunday, January 24, 2010

Some Give All They Have

Wind and rain stormed the house last night after I stayed up too late and went to bed just as it hit. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep with all that noise, but I did. When I woke up this morning, the rain was falling gently. Maybe it quieted like that while I was falling asleep. After the rains stopped during the day, it was warm but turned chilly this evening.

We stayed a little late after morning worship as Gerald had brought his tools to put up a high shelf that the children can’t reach in the preschool room. We can now lay out supplies for the day’s lesson, and volunteers will have a safe place for purses—even if they happen to have meds in the purse. Since it was later than usual when we arrived back at the farm, I fixed us a bowl of canned soup and a hot pocket in a matter of minutes. I had the fish thawing that Gerald’s buddy had given us, so I fixed that for an early supper and it was good.

Because of some arthritis brought on by the rainy weather, I think, I probably would not have gone to evening worship, but I wanted to be in the preschool room during that service with two-year old Lena. She and I are just getting acquainted, and I did not want to miss an opportunity to be with this extremely bright little girl. We also have a new family with an older special needs child they have adopted, and he really likes to be with the preschoolers each service. And it would be a good thing for his mother to have an hour’s time to worship without concern for him.

However, we think it is good for him to be mainstreamed and stay in the worship hour rather than playing with the preschoolers. Although we appreciate quiet, our congregation also has a strong tolerance for any noises children make. We have had special needs children before. We also have had foster children and teenagers—one teen with a two-year-old child, who evidently never had been in services before, and though they trekked in and out to the restroom or for water, we were thrilled to have them there with their foster family. When we still had them with us, I used to silently pray as they watched the stable families around them, that they would have such homes someday. A little confusion or disturbance by children as they learn to be quiet is a good thing in our opinion.

We do, however, let this new child volunteer to help once a month in the morning just as we do the other two children in his older class. Seeing him grow and develop makes me feel we made the right decision. Tonight he volunteered to help me with Lena, and I really needed him because of our policy that we must have at least two caretakers in a preschool room. Then at the last minute, Katie rushed in the building and also volunteered. I was glad to have this high school freshman, who is quite talented with little ones. Before the service ended in the sanctuary, little Hayden—visiting tonight with his grandparents—joined us.
Thanks to Katie, we had plenty of help. With my arthritis attack, I was especially grateful.

Lena’s mother warned that she had not had a nap and might be grouchy. After the first few seconds she cried when her mother left the room, Katie quickly distracted her and she was a smiley and engaged child from then until her father came to take her home. Mostly the children played—with blocks, musical instruments, papers and colors, transportation toys. But we also had time to teach this morning’s lesson about working together. (Our lessons can take anywhere from two to ten minutes for this age group. We know they learn by playing whether we attempt a lesson or not.)

We also reviewed last Sunday’s lesson on the poor widow who Jesus said gave more than the rich folks who put money in the temple offering box and made a loud clatter. The kids liked being given coins to put in the cardboard “temple offering box” with a hole in the top filled with an open-mouthed canning jar filler. Their coins made loud noises as the coins hit the cookie sheet hidden inside. I hope they remember that the poor widow, who gave less than a penny, gave more because she gave all she had.

I wonder how many folks in Haiti tonight are giving all they have to help those suffering around them.

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