We love being part of the family missio community: Arbors. Our motto is "Eat, Serve, Play!" Tonight we got to do all three when we joined other families at "Acres of Diamonds" www.acresofdiamonds.org
Acres of Diamonds is aptly named because I can see that they are building diamonds with the women and children to come to live there. Their stories were heart-breaking, but also encouraging because of the wonderful transitions they are making by being in a safe, loving, boundaried, connected home.
Our missio community has been somewhat challenged in finding places to serve with children as young as 3 years old. Many organizations have age requirements, most of whom disqualify the ages of our children in the missio community: 3 to 12 years old.
Our hope was to find a place where we could come and build friendship first with the families. We delight in taking the men because watching men interact and play with the children, as well as serve by bringing dinner and helping clean up, is a wonderful role model to many whose experience of men has been anything but positive.
We also want to build friendships between the children. We took our neighbors' child, Sydney, because the rest of the family was sick, and on the way she wondered out loud if the children would be like her or different. On the way home, I asked her what she thought, and she decided that they were definitely like her. The children had no problem connecting with one another, in fact, many missio kids were getting just as loud as the Acres kids!
Before we came, a few women from our MC went to talk to the director, Jackie. She is an enthusiastic and lovable woman who has taken Acres of Diamonds from a dream to a reality. While they were visiting the home, they checked out the games. Not too good for the smaller children, so we used funds from our missio community account to buy them new games. It was really fun to see the kids rip off the plastic wrap and delight in some new games with all the pieces.
I was privileged to be invited into the stories of some of the women. I am also amazed at their resiliance and perseverance to be able to rise above their circumstances of their lives.
They asked us to come back~that's a good sign! I will keep you posted.