WOW. It's true - my blog title. It's true like 'paying it forward' is true.
I live by those. Nothing blesses me more or makes me forget my problems than blessing someone else.
Like at the movies yesterday. I was approaching the door to go into the theatre and this 20 something girl has just walked out....long enough ago that the door has closed and she has taken the first couple of steps to leave.
She stops, turns around, walks back to the door and holds it open for me.
No special reason - I wasn't limping or anything.
I like to believe, and I do believe, that she did it to be nice.
(And, not the "nice to old people" kind of nice)
I'm going to tell you about the Mini-Mission trip that I've talked about on Facebook and here on my blog this summer. I'm going to skip everything and get right down to it as I took a lot of pictures and have some amazing, over the top, God IS alive, stories to tell you.
But, before I get to that I want to thank everyone again (hopefully I didn't miss anyone) that sent me supplies for kids in a shelter that Skyler and I were hunting. Those supplies and the generous checks and gift cards....WHAT A BLESSING! Thank you. (And, if anyone is wondering if maybe I bought myself some Chanel No. 5 with your money, I saved all of the receipts if you want to see them. My cousin, Melinda, said that was ridiculous, but I feel better telling y'all anyway. *I was going to copy them and put them at the end of this post and she wouldn't let me*)
The story of some uber-remarkable kids goes like this................
Once upon a time there was me and there was my "little girl", Skyler, and we wanted to visit a shelter taking all kinds of cool art supplies for kids and spend a day or two with them "playing art". I knew it was a long shot, having worked as a volunteer in a shelter. They were going to want a background check before they let anyone spend time with the kids and you can't blame them. Heck, I could be as crazy as Jan Thomason.
And, that's exactly what we ran into......that and Skyler getting a temporary job, blah, blah.
Skyler's temp. job was over last Wednesday and I told her to look in the Corpus Christi yellow pages and find some shelters. She sent me the ONE shelter that had a website. I researched it and knew that it was where we were supposed to go and that they were going to let us "play art" with their kids. I just knew it.
Joanna Villarreal, the Volunteer Coordinator, and I exchanged emails and to make a long story short, THEY WANTED US. Praise God!!
So, I started my trip down to Skyler's. I had gathered up all of the supplies sent to me and cashed all of the checks. I stopped at three dollar stores to spend the money on further supplies as I made my way to Skyler's. I visited three dollar stores and can honestly say that I visited more dollar stores in that one day than in my entire life.
I'll not be going back. Really, Wal-Mart is bad enough.
In one store I bought a Composition Notebook for every kid because we were going to turn them into journals. I bought 90 notebooks. Ninety. In one store. The checker didn't even look at me which I found rather odd.
The shelter that we spent Saturday at was like none I've ever volunteered in or been in.
It's called Bokenkamp and is in Corpus Christi, Texas.
It is amazing and I am at a lack of words as how to describe it so I'm going to let it speak for itself:
(This part may seem long to you, but I encourage you to read it all - I think you will be a different person for reading it.)
BEFORE YOU CONTINUE, LET ME TELL YOU THAT BECAUSE BLOGGER ISN'T COOPERATING THAT I HAVE FINISHED THIS TWO DAY POST ON FLICKR.
VISIT MY FLICKR PHOTOSTREAM AT www.flickr.com/photos/polkadotbarn TO SEE THE PHOTOS AND READ THE STORIES ABOUT THE PICTURES AND ON ONE PHOTO YOU WILL LEARN OF THE HORROR THESE KIDS HAVE SEEN. THEY ALL HAVE THEIR OWN STORY TO TELL, BUT THIS STORY WILL GIVE YOU A GLIMPSE INTO THE LIFE OF ONE AMAZING YOUNG MAN.
BE BLESSED AND I APOLOGIZE FOR BLOGGER NOT COOPERATING.
BELIEVE ME, IT WILL BE GROUNDED.
God bless you all,
Jan.............continue reading before you go to my flickr account. the following story is uplifting!!
Bokenkamp Children's Shelter is an emergency shelter for unaccompanied refugee children from Central and South America, ranging in age from infants to teens. (We had 10 - 17 year olds when we visited) These children have all experienced some form of traumatic separation from their families. Bokenkamp provides short-term care that will leave a long-term impact in these children's lives by offering shelter, education and spiritual care.
The children who come to live in our residential centers in Texas – New Life, Krause, and the Nelson Center – often bring with them pasts and stories of unbearable hardship and emotional pain. Miracles do happen, and sometimes seemingly insurmountable odds are overcome, and we witness a child’s life turn around from the brink of despair in front of our eyes.
Read this and you'll get a feel of the 80 kids that we worked with on Saturday:
By: Scott Carroll