It started, kids needing help with their homework. I was sitting at the table with our biological children helping them with their homeschool work when a couple kids started showing up. The first kid showed up asked for help, but really he just needed a dictionary. He is probably one of my favorite kids in the neighborhood so I let him look up words on my kindle. Five minutes later another kid showed up. Here is a snippet of our conversation.
Emilie: Miguel are you going to do your homework?
Emilie: Do you have homework?
Emilie: If you aren’t going to do your homework, go home
Five minutes later another kids showed up for help on his homework. He is in fifth grade and doing pretty simple division. He had no idea what he was doing. Teaching these kids the level of math they are in is like trying to build a house with no foundation. You keep building on top, but it keeps falling down because nothing is there to support it.
Here is an example of our conversation:
Emilie: Ok Danaline, how many subtract 112-42. What is it?
Emilie: No, if you have 112 pieces of candy and I take away 42 pieces, will you have more candy than you started with?
We figure out that one and onto the next
Emilie: Ok Danaline how many times does 16 go into 16
Emilie: Aye yai yai Danaline, I don’t even know what to say.
We are faced with an uphill battle trying to get these kids to have basic skills in order to survive. They need these skills to get a job someday. They have to know how to read, write, and do math.
Here is another conversation I was faced with, a young boy who didn’t go to school last year and is almost 10 and in the second grade, yesterday as I walked out my door:
Emilie: Jeter! Why aren’t you in school!?!?!?
Jeter: I was tired so I decided not to go.
Emilie: Jeter, you HAVE to go to school. You are so behind, you HAVE to be at school every day! Do you know how to read yet?
Emilie: Jeter we are going to work very hard over the next few months to get you reading. Do you want to pass to 3rd grade with all your friends
Emilie: Then you have to work hard
I want to give everyone an idea about the need for what we are doing in our neighborhood. We really really love these kids that are in and out of our house every day. We want them to succeed so so bad. Last year as I was reading this verse in 2 Thessalonians 2:8 I was struck but how much these words portrayed my heart for these kids.
“8 So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.”
We have let these kids into our hearts and homes. Randy and I labor over them, we talk about how we can better serve them. Even when they drive us crazy we take them with us places and to church every week. Sometimes this is by coming a long side them encouraging them and sometimes it is through tough love and having to say no. We want them to succeed in their studies, but what we really want for them is to know Jesus. We want to build relationships with them and their parents so that they will know Jesus.
Next week are going to be starting up our Homework help program. Pray for us as we seek to accomplish these goals