On April 28, each of our 7 sites was able to invite 4 kids to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo for an incentive field trip. The 4 boys I brought were fascinated by the reptile house we visited first. They moved from display to display, pressing their noses against the glass. As we exited the reptile house, 6 year old Omar earnestly asked, “Some more? Can we see some more animals?” Throughout our time at the zoo, he repeated this same request. We would see an animal, he would get really excited, and then he would ask, “Some more?” While this may be attributed to a short attention span of a 6 year old, this statement has got me considering, of what do I seek more?
At the end of March, I joined the Care Fresno staff as the Executive Assistant. While I have been a Mission Care resident for some years now, joining the office staff has introduced me to more of the organization at large. I see more of a larger picture of things going on in our city and the context in which we serve. I am striving to further the mission of Care Fresno “some more” in an expanded work capacity while continuing to invest in mentoring and community relationships in my neighborhood.
I have met some beautiful, resilient people through Care Fresno. A lot of that beauty and resilience emerges through the backdrop of trauma and it is a privilege to walk alongside kids and families in both the trauma and emerging resilience. A few weeks ago, a different 6 year old, after a traumatic event in his family, asked me to teach him how to pray. He and his siblings, who have had sporadic attendance at our after school program, all came to program the day after this event and eagerly processed what happened with my roommate and I in their own unique ways. A few days later, the boy I prayed with told me that he knows that because God listens to his prayers, he needs to listen to God. While that is not a complete theological picture of prayer and our relationship with God, that childlike perspective and faith is inspiring. I want some more moments like that - moments where kids find after school program and its leaders their safe place; moments where I get to share significant aspects of faith with a kid; moments where kids develop and display their childlike faith.
As we reach the end of the academic year, the majority of this year’s Mission Care residents have committed to returning for the next Mission Care year, August 2018 - August 2019. We talked at a recent Mission Care class about some of the risks, commitments, and sacrifices we have made to be a part of Care Fresno. Amid those very real and hard things, we also want more opportunities to engage with our neighbors, more time with our kids, more growth and development as a team. We want to see some more of God at work in the lives of us, our kids, and our neighbors and communities - and we could use your prayers! Please pray that our team would hold fast to our commitments and wholeheartedly engage in our communities, especially when it’s hard. Pray for our team as we take a break from after school program and roll into summer program, with camp and the moving in of new residents following that. Pray that through all of this, our kids and neighbors would see more and more of Jesus in and through each of us and choose to commit their lives to Him as well.