For you and everyone I know, I have the proposition of a lifetime!! But first let me give you a little background.
As some of you might know, I work at Ridgeview Elementary school in Olathe. It has changed my life and how I look at people. That sounds cliche, but it's SO true. I have seen more abuse, neglect, poverty, pain, suffering, addiction, and bitterness than I've ever seen in my life. The children with whom I have come in contact have absolutely stolen my heart. I didn't know my heart could feel so much love and so much hurt for children I've known for such a short time. I came into this job with the mindset I would bless these kids and I would change their lives for the better. But God blew that idea out of the water. These children have blessed and changed my life more than I ever thought possible. Let me share a couple stories and then I'll give you my proposition.
It was a regular Tuesday when I clocked into work. I wasn't on my game. I didn't have a smile on my face and I didn't really want to be there. At 3:40 when the kids are let out of school they walk down to the cafeteria for a snack and the commencement of Y-care. But this day, as I stood ready to greet the children, (I'm hall monitor) my heart was heavy. I wasn't feeling ready or feeling able to deal with the pain that loving these children brings. As the children started streaming down the hall I saw little faces light up at the sight of me. A chorus of "Hola Miss Ruuuuthi!!!" greeted and warmed my heart. I felt a little hand slip into mine. Bright little eyes met mine with a smile that melted my heart. She said, "Miss Ruthi! I have something for you!" A brown paper bag was pushed into my arms. I knelt to be on her level and look into her vibrant brown eyes. I carefully opened the brown paper bag so as to preserve the delicate wrapping. I reached in to pull out a half empty box of expired cereal. "It was the last box in the kitchen!!" she exclaimed in Spanish. I looked up to see those beautiful brown eyes. My own green eyes filled with tears. She had given me food. In her mind she was enabling my existence. She was enabling me to continue to LIVE. She was showing me love.
Another one of my favorite memories is from a sunny day in September. He and I were playing with chalk on the blacktop of the playground. He drew a heart. I said, "What's that!?" He replied with confidence, "It's a heart! Es un corazon!" He paused with a pensive look on his little first grade face. "I have a heart! And you have a heart! My heart loves you, Miss Ruthi!" I wanted to take him home and make him mine.
If you haven't at LEAST teared up, I'm tempted to question whether you have a heart.
Now after dissing you, my proposition!
In my education class at MidAmerica Nazarene University, we are collecting gifts for the kids at Ridgeview. My professor is friends with the principal at Ridgeview Elementary. So we're collecting brand new clothes, toys and books for my kids! How exciting is that!?!?
So you might be thinking, "I'm a poor college student, I don't have money for those shenanigans!" I beg to differ. If you even buy one Starbucks cup of coffee a week, you have money to buy a toy or socks or a book for children who don't get "new" things. Their idea of "new" is a coat with holes in it. If you have ever looked at a person in need and recognized it and thought, "Wow, I'm blessed", then think that now! Buy a new book for a kid! Buy a new shirt! Buy a new toy! You don't realize HOW MUCH you will bless these children! You will put radiant little smiles on their beautiful faces! You might not be able to see their joy from this, but rest assured I will tell you all about it! And I'll probably cry when telling you!!
So don't think about it. Don't think it's a nice gesture that you should probably do. Follow Nike's advice and "JUST DO IT!" Bless a kid a stone's throw away from you! Please my dear friends, please, join me in blessing these kids.
If you join with me in this I am MORE THAN HAPPY to come pick up the items you buy! If you go to JUCO, bring them to school and I'll come pick them up! If you go to MNU, I'll walk over to your dorm, if you live in Kansas City I WILL DRIVE TO YOU!
THE DEADLINE FOR THE GIFTS IS THE 15TH OF DECEMBER. HAVE THEM TO ME BEFORE THEN!
But even if you don't buy a toy, clothes or a book: PRAY.
Pray for my kids.
Pray that they would see believers in their lives.
Pray that they would feel the love of our precious Jesus Christ.
Pray that they would love Him.
Merry Christmas, my dear friends. God loves us more than we can fathom. How fantastic is that?
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I love these kids. They stole my heart. Thank you for praying for them, and loving them well.