I really feel so blessed when I get to hang out with my kids outside of MetroKidz, Sunday evening Crystal and I found ourselves back in Southwest, imagine that...well the kids were outside doing what they do best "hangin'" and we got to spend a good deal of time with them. Including a trip to Mcdonald's to purchase 20 double cheeseburgers! These kids really know how to give it to me so that I'll do whatever they want :)! But in the grand scheme of things, $20 to buy double cheeseburgers for them is really nothing to me. And when they tell me they are hungry I truly believe that they are hungry and need food. And the opportunity to spend time with them, laughing, hearing their hearts and what's bothering them is more valuable than any penny, dollar or double cheeseburger!
Yesterday, I had the chance to hang out with them again, it was so much fun! J, D,DR,SH, and T and I all went to Mcdonalds where I treated them to double cheeseburgers (do you see a trend here) and ice cream sundaes, they were SO excited! These particular kids have stolen a little bit of my heart that I don't think I will ever get back.
In fact one of them is having some trouble at home is going to have to go away for a few weeks, to stay with relatives and my heart is aching. Mostly because I'm seeing life changes in this child and I feel like moving her to a different environment isn't so much going to be healthy for her. It's made me so excited to see her at church every Sunday, and at MetroKidz every Wednesday, things make her cry, good things that should make her cry, she confesses she's a sinner and struggles, she begs for attention and for accountability, she wants so much to love Jesus with everything in her and she's so so close! My hope is she doesn't stray away again. You can be praying for her, she's a very beautiful African American girl and boys flock to her, we recently had a conversation about how valuable her purity is, I hope she listened! So as you pray for Charm City/MetroKidz this week, please pray for SH, for her life, for her relationship with Jesus Christ, for love from the people who are right for her, for the relationship with her mother, and for continued life changes in her life.
So on a different note, we had a memorial service for Amanda on Sunday, it's hard to believe someone took her from us and that she's never coming back. It was really a beautiful service, I couldn't stop thinking that maybe it was a dream and she was going to come back, or there was a mistake and our Amanda was coming back, this made it all real she's not coming back! It was a long week last week, trying to figure out all the legalities of being able to preserve her ashes for her family. The thing that made me sad is if your body remains unclaimed by family, they cremate you in a mass cremation as if you didn't even exist. We were able to locate some of her family so luckily that isn't going to happen, but I think of all the people who it does happen too and it makes my heart hurt.
We went to visit her memorial after the service and it made me even more sad, because it was at the end of a street Crystal and I have frequented often during our middle of the night prayer drives, and many times I've said to her, "If someone were to kill someone this would be the perfect place to dump the body, it's so desolate and gross back here and everything else gets dumped here." Little did I know that when that actually happened it would be someone I knew. Someone who was very near and dear to me. Little did I know that person would be someone that my heart loved so much, someone that I prayed for, someone I hurt for, someone I wanted to see succeed. I still don't understand why it had to be her and I think about her kids, and her life and I cry. I think about the life she wanted for her kids and I smile, because she was determined and wanted to make it happen, I think about how when she was sober she was such a wonderful mother and how she just fell on a bad time and someone took advantage of that and took our friend, sister, mother, cousin, daughter away.
Pray for her family this week, pray for the person who did this to her, pray for my Charm City family as we continue to grasp the idea of her being gone. Pray for Pastor Mike as he's dealing with his third death within a week, all people who were very close to him. Pray for strength, guidance and wisdom.
Alright friends, thanks for praying with us!