by Kaeli Joyce, Missionary in Spokane
“At Heart’s Home St. Ignatius it is a rare occasion for us to get to welcome children. The rhythm of our lives is dictated largely by the rhythm of the lives of the students we serve at Gonzaga University and by the fact that many of us are students ourselves. All five of us absolutely love our student friends, and love living in such close proximity to the university - but sometimes we miss children. There are moments where we feel like we are missing out on this particular aspect of Heart’s Home International’s heart.
And so, we were excited recently to be blessed with a beautiful encounter with four girls Amy has known since they were very small. All of them were willing to share about their families and friends, and their schoolwork and about past. Much of what they shared with us revealed the roughness of their family life, or disruptions they have had to their schooling because of family issues. We enjoyed talking with them and getting to know them better, and delighted in the refreshing of having children and youths to welcome.
Baking cookies was the tool used to give the girls a specific purpose for an hour, and to encourage them to interact with each other. As they produced some tasty dessert, it was clear that they received the friendship that we offered, and that relationship was deepened among the girls as well. This was just a small taste of how the love of Christ compels - it is His work in us that calls us to reach out, and His love which opens the hearts of those we minister to each day. This time with the children was a reminder that in Christ fear is replaced with love, and isolation with community.”