Monday, October 06, 2014

“Great is our Lord and Abundant in strength, His understanding is infinite.” ~147:5

I have been teaching an art class this summer. It is one of my favorite things I do. Almost all of the kids in the class are also in my princess bible study group. I didn’t mean for that to happen, but it worked out that way.

The princess Bible study is a study that I have been leading for the past 5 years for girls between the ages of 11 and 14. Usually there will be 18 to 25 girls on any given Friday.

At first I did it because I knew God was asking me to. I didn’t know what I was doing. 5 years later the class is still full.

Most of the girls in the art class are also in the nutrition center. So they are in the center daily, meet for art class once a week, and are in the princess study every Friday night. A handful of them also come to youth service on Saturday evening and family service on Sunday.

In a world where there aren’t really playgrounds or a boys and girls club, it makes a big difference where you choose to spend your time.

You could spend it inside your house. For a teenager that is not only difficult, but detrimental to social growth. And anyway your mom’s boyfriend might make you feel uncomfortable and maybe there is no electricity so you can’t even watch TV and if you don’t really know how to read, then what?

It’s not a good idea to hang out in the street. Oh, the streets are filled with activity and people. .. and boys and alcohol and gambling etc…

Sometimes I see some of the girls in the Bible study hanging on a young man or standing with a friend on the corner just waiting for something, anything really, to happen. Sometimes I know it won’t be long till I won’t see them so often in the church. They begin to look less like a little girl and more like a woman and I’m not the only one that notices. A 12 year old left because she went to go live with her boyfriend. She is now back with her mom and pregnant. So, the cycle continues.

But there are those who have chosen a different place to pass the time. They are the handful that are there every time the church is open. Every time they are in the church is a time they are not in the street. Every time they are not just hanging out in the street is a time they are less vulnerable to the wheels of “the cycle”.

In the princess study we are studying the Jesus story Bible. It is really a kid’s Bible, but is beautifully written in such a way that it refers to Jesus in every single story tying our hope and salvation into one big story rather than a collection of separate books.

In Art class last session, Romans 8 was our theme.

I believe that until the girls meet their creator and know that he values them the way he does, they really have no reason to change their behavior. Why should they not look for a release of endorphins? Why shouldn’t they do whatever they have to in order to fill the void in their purses and hearts? Until they know how precious they are and how goodness and sweetness can be theirs and that Their Father God is good and strong, there isn’t a good reason to respect or obey.

Some have chosen a safe haven away from the flow of the world. This simple act of where to pass the time, could change the course of their life.
A few of the beautiful lives being changed

Romans 8:19-23

“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of god. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.


Brandi Dayton said...

What a wonderful work you are doing for Jesus Jen. I am proud to call you friend.

Jennifer Goodenough said...

Thank you Brandi. Jesus is doing the real work. I'm just along for the ride.

Eric & Sunshine said...

Jen, I just love you. I love reading about your journey there and the experiences of hopes, illusions, pain and love . I know it's been hard. God keeps sharpening you friend for a huge purpose there. Miss you, give Isaiah hugs for me.