It has been proven that a child must have loving relationships to grow and develop in every area of life. Children from third-world orphanages, where there was a lack of human interaction due to sheer numbers of children versus staff, face huge gaps in development, even being physically underdeveloped. We can actually die from rejection and isolation. Children need love to thrive!
In our training, they talked a lot about relationships. Your relationship with the children opens up the door for ministry. We talk about our witness of faith being both with words and actions. This became clear to me one evening when a cottage parent named Ellis shared this story.
After an active day, the cottage was having a difficult night. The boys were whining and struggling to follow even simple requests. Ellis and his wife decided to go ahead and send them to bed so that we could get a fresh start in the morning.
Ellis went to each room to tell the boys good night. When he got to Ethen’s room, he started talking to him about his faith and some of his own life experiences. Ellis said that he felt like what he was saying was not coming from him. Ellis said, “Honestly, this was the first time I had talked about my faith to someone, but the words just kept coming out. I sensed God’s presence in the room as I shared my testimony with Ethen and his roommate, Larry. I could see it in their eyes; they were listening and receiving. It was one of the most awesome moments I had ever experienced. I wanted to have that feeling continually.”
Moments like this give us a look into the power of “witness.” The witness speaks of relationships. The cottage parent couple was literally living “with,” sharing their life “with,” sharing their family “with,” sharing their faith “with” our boys. As we close out 2015, I want to thank those who allow us at the HOFYR to be “with” our children. Every day, our caregivers share their lives, their hearts, and their faith with children who have been abused, neglected, and abandoned. The Ranch is that kind of place.
Your partnership makes all the difference in their world!!
Happy New Year!