Thursday, February 12, 2009

Today was AWESOME!!!!!


We had our monthly, PlayDate with a Purpose today and it was AMAZING!!!!

We went to the Orlando Rescue Mission which houses homeless families and helps them get on their feet. We had the opportunity to throw a Valentines Party for the 30 kids who live there right now (ages 3-5th grade with some middle schoolers sneaking in =) + our kiddos too! (It was Brooke, Theresa, Jaci and I from church along with Brooke's sweet MIL and our new friend, Emmy and our 16 kids combined. . though lots of them were big helpers!)

We got there a bit early to really set up and decorate. Our goal was to make these children feel special today, to make them understand just a small taste of the goodness of the God who adores them.

We started off with an adorable craft that Brooke picked out! It was super cute and required RIDICULOUS hours of work (though she'll deny that!) to cut out 100 little hearts!

Next, we gathered the kiddos around to talk about LOVE and what it looks like. We then talked about how we don't always feel loved even though we know that there is a God who loves us all the time. We spent time learning Zephaniah 3:17 together which is a beautiful picture of how God loves us. (do you know this verse? The Lord Your God is with you, He is MIGHTY to save, He will take great DELIGHT in you, He will quiet you with His LOVE and REJOICE over you with SINGING") Doesn't that just sound like a Hallmark card? The kids were so cute learning it together and I had a BLAST!

While I was teaching, a couple of the other moms set us up for the next section of the party: COOKIES! Frosting and decorating them to be exact (BIG thanks to Jaci and her kiddos who spent the whole day making 100 cookies!)

Can I just tell you that this was an AMAZING day? It was so fun to be able to spend time with these precious ones. Jaci commented later about how throughout the party she would look down at a little one and realize they were "homeless" and tear up. It certainly changes the face of homelessness. It also was a wonderful reminder of our old "Y" days. I'm not even sure if I've ever told you guys about that, but we used to run a small group Bible study program at the local YMCA during their afterschool session. I did this for 3 years and LOVED my kiddos. Jaci was one of our small group leaders at the time and we just kept smiling at each other today b/c it brought back our wonderful memories.

I talked to Brooke later and she commented, "I'm on a high or something and I can't come down!" This is exactly how we all felt. It was just a WONDERFUL day. We LOVED our time spent with the kids and are already talking about making it a monthly outing. Heck, our kids are always begging for fun things to do so why not make our "fun thing" also meaningful by building relationships with kids who could use another caring adult to be Jesus' hands and feet to them (in kid language that's read: hugs, smiles and games!).

I STRONGLY recommend calling YOUR local shelter and asking about throwing a party for the in-residence kids. I'm sorry we didn't blog this idea sooner so that you could do a Valentines Party!!

God is so good. . . I know I'm gushing at this point, but it was just a GOOD DAY!





16 comments:

Amy said...

sweet!

Jman's momma said...

THIS IS GREAT!!!! I need to check with our area because this is so up my alley. I love the pictures and wish Jman and I could have been with you guys.

Nice shirt :)

aMp

Whitney said...

Hey girly, call me next time. Remember I'm unemployed now and would love to help!

four kids for us said...

This is just wonderful and I love that verse in Zephaniah. What a great way to show the father's love and compassion. I am praying for your upcoming trip too! I would love to join you at some point on a missions trip. Going to Uganda would be life changing. I would love to photograph the kids!

carrielkg said...

I am so proud to know you...

Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida said...

Thank you for what you are doing to bring hope to homeless children in Orlando! At Coalition for the Homeless, we serve nearly 200 children, on any given night. Last year, we served 4,6000 individuals, including 548 families. As you said, this shows the changing face of homelessness.

I hope you stay involved in bringing hope to your neighbors in need in Central Florida!

Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida said...

Thank you for what you are doing to bring hope to homeless children in Orlando! At Coalition for the Homeless, we serve nearly 200 children, on any given night. Last year, we served 4,6000 individuals, including 548 families. As you said, this shows the changing face of homelessness.

I hope you stay involved in bringing hope to your neighbors in need in Central Florida!

Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida said...

Thank you for what you are doing to bring hope to homeless children in Orlando! At Coalition for the Homeless, we serve nearly 200 children, on any given night. Last year, we served 4,6000 individuals, including 548 families. As you said, this shows the changing face of homelessness.

I hope you stay involved in bringing hope to your neighbors in need in Central Florida!

Vanessa said...

It never ceases to amaze me how much we truly take for granted!!! Looks like they all had a wonderful time!!

Jaime said...

That is a wonderful playdate. I love the design of your Playdates with a Purpose. Wish we could have joined you. It's a great thing that the Lord is doing in you girl!

Brittani said...

I can't wait for the next play date... Preferably on a monday :) (when my kids don't have school) I really want to be involved in those service projects with my kiddos. Let me know when the next one is PLEASE
Brittani

steffany said...

How inspiring! I love what you and your friends do. You are all so creative, caring and compassionate.
What a blessing you are.
Thanks for being you.

brooke said...

Cory and I have this little joke we often use. I'll tell him thank you for something and he'll say (sarcastically),"No thank....YOU!" Sometimes you get those "thank yous" in life and you regrettably say, "No Problem". Yesterday was one of those days that when the staff and children offered their thanks, I was thinking.... "What are you thanking ME for? Really, Thank YOU!" It was an experience I would never had wanted to miss. AND, it leaves me today with the question, "What else am I missing out on?" I had such a blast! Thank you, Lord, for the 2 hours you gave us with those precious children. And, thank you for such a sweet friend to do it with! Love you girl!

Andrea said...

This looks like it was so much fun! I can't wait until the day I have more energy to organize something like this. I'd love to have a list of great ideas for playdates with a purpose ;) If you ever feel like making one!

Dearest Jessica said...

Looks like fun...can't wait to get my life in order so I can participate!

Julie said...

It looks like you had a wonderful day!!! I love it!!