Angelica came to the Community House Gym holding the St Luke’s Community House newsletter. Pointing to the picture of the young man studying the bible with an adult mentor, she asked how she could get her children involved in a Godly program like PTM. As God would have it, we had a family move away this past Christmas and had openings for her 2 elementary students and her 6th grade daughter, Sandra. Wow! What a praise! We were so excited! Over the next couple of weeks, the elementary kids dovetailed into our existing activities like PTM Life, Music Therapy and Reading beautifully. But Sandra was alittle more reluctant. Angelica recognized her lack of confidence and kept encouraging us to get Sandra involved. “Keep asking!”, she would say. But Sandra stayed on the outskirts.
At our Community Supper parents meeting, we talked about our February Program called What’s Love Got to Do With It. This event is an opportunity for students to have real conversations about God’s love and how God’s love guides our relationships. We talk about how to build and sustain healthy relationships with our friends and also with significant others. We also had a fancy dinner and dance planned that afternoon with a volunteer dance instructor. Angelica was so excited about the event, but we couldn’t seem to talk Sandra into going. She didn’t really know anyone else who was going and didn’t want to have to dance with boys!
So we put a plan together….. Angelica would talk it up at home, Ms Sarah would speak into Sandra’s fears and I got some of the other girls who were already signed up to rally around Sandra and tell her how much fun she would have. And after much effort and rallying…..the idea fell flat. Nope, not interested!
Then something amazing happened. Diana, a girl who had rallied for the event, told me that she’d talked Sandra into staying for Big Wednesday, a youth event at Community House that includes games, fellowship, worship music and kids….lots and lots of new kids! Yes!! Sandra loved it. And on the van ride home, Sandra said she’d consider coming to the morning workshops for What’s Love since she knew a couple of the girls going but didn’t plan on staying for the dance. And of course, she loved it. Several of the LEAPERs and directors from other sites spoke into these girls’ lives with stories of similar fears and insecurities and God’s provision and guidance in His Word and in His herd! At lunchtime, Sandra asked Ms Sarah to drive her home to get an outfit for the dinner and dance!! And during that dance, that smile that makes Sandra so special never left her face. I’m so grateful to the PTM community of volunteer dance instructors, staff, LEAPers and other kids willing to help get Sandra in the middle of the herd where we all want to be.