Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A First!

Last week I had the priviledge of being invited to a first for His Hands- a wedding! 
I've attended many funerals.  Funerals for mamas, grandmothers, even children.  But never, before now, a wedding!
Kim's children have been attending Bible Club for a couple years.  She's a hardworking mom who has gone from being homeless to living in the projects to having a little house on a relatively quiet street.  I've always been impressed with her boyfriend, Ellis.  He is softspoken and seems kind.  When they lived in the projects, he would wait outside next to the curb for the children to come home from Bible Club so that he could walk them into the apartment.
Last week, Ellis walked out the van after I dropped the kids off and shyly announced the news: "Mrs. Mary, me and Kim's gettin' married on Friday." 
"Congratualtions!" I cheered as I shook his hand.  He just beamed.  "I want to come!"  He beamed more.
So I went to the courthouse, in the rain, and of course, I took my camera.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Love and Sex

Teen pregnancy is a major component in the continuing pattern of poverty and despair faced by our families.  The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy says the chances of a child growing up in poverty if: (1) the mother gave birth as teen, (2) the parents were unmarried when the child was born, and (3) the mother did not receive a high school diploma or GED are:
• 27% if one of these things happen.
• 42% if two of these things happen.
• 64% if three of these things happen.
• But, if none of these things happen, a child’s chance of growing up in poverty is 7%.
Our teen girls are getting a Biblical perspective on love and sex with Bible lessons from The Mailbox Club. While the lesson content is excellent, the stories are slightly outdated (they refer to boys as "fellows", and talk about "going steady"), and when we went over the first lesson over the nature of true love and the three types of love, it was a disaster.  The girls were giggling hysterically and resistant to the material.  I was so discouraged I planned to stop using the lessons.  I thought for sure that we were completely wasting our time, and was convinced no one was paying attention.  Then as we were eating our snack, one of the girls said this to me:
"Mrs. Mary, when I went home last week, I took that little Bible book home and read it to my boyfriend. And then we read it together, and we said we're gonna have that Agape love right now and wait on that sexual love stuff."
And once again, I was wrong.  Thank you, Lord, for reminding me that His Hands' goal is to transform the neighborhoods one child at a time- one beautiful young woman's decision to wait- at a time.