I’ve always been the kind of person who starts a project and wants to see it finished immediately. Over time, God has slowly been working on this quirk of mine and changing my heart- teaching me instead how to appreciate the journey.
When we first opened the drop-in center for the kids in October we had so many dreams- from what it would look like, to how we could best utilize the space, to what activities would happen inside. I distinctly remember standing in the middle of the empty room that first day and thinking to myself- there is so much to do! Where do we even start?
I wanted it all done right away. We needed walls and tables and chairs and paint and doors and so much more. Where would the kids put their stuff? And who can build us some shelves? And where in the world will we find the money to make all these things happen?!
We had very little money and so I knew we needed to prioritize.
It wasn’t all going to happen at once and I had to be okay with that…
Slowly but surely the drop-in center started to come together. And I realized the other day as I was walking through, how incredibly thankful I am that it happened that way. Because now, when I look at everything we have there’s a story behind it all…
When I see the walls, I think of the wonderful group of 13 guys who built them for us. They lived in the midst of sawdust and cramped corners for days but never complained once. I smile and thank God for how much they blessed us that month.
My eyes wander from the walls down to the new tables and chairs we just bought and I’m overwhelmed with thanks. I laugh, thinking back to even just a few weeks ago when 16 kids were cramped on two benches trying to do their schoolwork and crawling over each other’s shoulders just to get out and go to the bathroom. I think about the strangers from California who we never even met, who heard of our need and donated the money for us to purchase the furniture. School runs SO much smoother now thanks to them.
I wander into the hallway and cant help but stop in front of the kid’s cubbies. The money for these came from a friend back home just looking to be a blessing to our kids from far away this Christmas. For months the kids were storing their few precious items in random corners of the center- causing absolute chaos for this girl who LOVES to have things organized! Now the kids take so much pride and joy in a small 4 x 4 space they get to call their own. I praise Him for such a precious gift.
The painted walls and splashes of color around the center bring me back to the sweet missionary family of 5 who wanted to teach their kids to think outside themselves this Christmas. So they drove 2 hours down the mountain with paint and their tiny hands brought so much life to this place!
The whiteboard came the first day of school when a visitor saw we were starting school without one and decided that was nonsense- you cant do school without a board! When I notice it now, I remember to stop and thank God for even the little things.
Over the last 4 months I’ve watched the drop-in center transform from a big empty space into a place of miracles and blessings. It’s not the center itself that amazes me, but the journey that brought us here that brings me to my knees.
If I would’ve had my way back in October, the center would have come together overnight. We would’ve had enough money to buy all the things ourselves instead of having to wait and do without sometimes. I wasn’t interested in a journey or a process. I just wanted the results.
But praise God He knows better than me and He’s ultimately the One in charge here. Because now, the center is of infinite value to me. Behind those walls, beneath the beautiful coats of paint, and inside each of the cubbies, lies a story of blessing and gratitude.
A gratitude that’s birthed from waiting. And blessings made up of all the times we simply make do with what we have until someone special comes along to help…
*There are still TONS of ways for you to help us if you’re looking to be a special blessing this year. You can sponsor a child, a teacher, or our social worker. OR you can contact me to find out more about some of our other needs- firstname.lastname@example.org