It is hard to express the dire needs we see when we go out and serve the children. Often we refer to the kids as “experiencing homelessness” and “in need”. We use those references not to grab the readers attention negatively or to guilt them but to give a simple description of what is a deeper story.
A simple description feels safer to the writer and the reader. There is a natural emotional toll that is part of the work we do. Work that we love dearly, but we wrestle with ourselves. We love the children and so desperately want the best for them. We feel helpless at times, yet can only imagine how much more their parents must feel.
We are so grateful to be able to bring a little joy and relief to them, but we are not naive to the hardships they are enduring or that we aren’t there to fix it. We can simply love on them a little, pray for them, and do our small piece to ease their daily stresses.
We call this planting seeds of hope in their lives.
Living out of a car, or a palette and tarp structure, not enough food to feed everyone or a 15-year-old pregnant girl are all incredibly difficult realities. We see a variety of different levels of these needs and more. We see the unfortunate reality of the elements constantly fighting against them.
For example, we see bug bites, little clothes worn in the heat, no shoes, growling stomachs, and plenty of dirt. All parts of their circumstances.
We see beautiful children and families that deserve love, care, and dignity. No shame, judgment, and no need for pointing fingers.
They are people that deserve their communities to rally around them and lift them up.
Our prayer is the next time you read a plea from us for socks or underwear that you read a little deeper into the words and know they aren’t just a child “experiencing homelessness or in need”, but a beautiful family of God facing real hardships and you and I are part of the solution.
You and I can pray for them, you can buy that pair or two of socks, and you can ask how you can volunteer your time and use your resources.
We are all part of the village.