Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm In A Club!

The Boys and Girls Club (B&GC) that is. I started volunteering there today. It was very reminiscent of my days as a day care worker. If you're not familiar with the B&GC, it's an afterschool program. It consists mainly of children that come from single parent homes or live with their grandparents. It has the opportunity to get to know their parents as well and could result in some Bible studies, but I really enjoy spending time with the children as well.

I got to help one boy with telling time. He did really well with it. Another boy had some problems reading, but with patience and work, he read the whole paragraph that was assigned to him, and it had some pretty hard words for him. These kids are in the first grade, I probably should have mentioned that. They kids had a snack and then we played Money Bingo. The BINGO cards have coins on them and the players have to figure out what amount of money is each square. A lot of the kids there have a good ways to go with counting money, but I know they'll get it by the end.

The first day brought along a bit of trouble though too. One of the kids had apparently been picked on on the bus ride to the the club. His reaction was to hit the bully in the face. Unfortunately, he seemed to be treated as the "bad kid." Now I understand that some kids tend to break the rules more often than others, but what I've come to find is that when you treat them like the bad kid, they act the part of the bad kid. They are just told they are bad, they are rarely encouraged to do what's right or told why they should do what's right. I was glad I had the opportunity to talk to about about what he did, why it was wrong and what he should have done. Maybe I'll have more time with him in the future.

Of course I tried to find a spiritual application to this as well. I already had a kid or two asking me if I would be back Wednesday. I don't know if I will or not as I do have priorities before B&GC like my family and the church here. It really surprised me that he asked that though. I also had one boy there who didn't know me at all come up and ask for help on his homework. I would think it had something to do with the fact that I was visibly forming a relationship with the kids from the start. They saw someone open, honest, and wanting to help. I think a lot of relationships within the church fail too because we as Christians fail to have this character. We show up, worship God or study the Bible and then go home. Almost every congregation seems to have someone that fits that build, even the smallest congregations. Throughout the New Testament we see the charge to aide and strengthen our brethren. This can only really be done when we show ourselves to be honest, open and wanting to help each other. Many times someone remains closed because no one has ever opened up to them, but as soon as someone opens up to them, the person that is usually as closed as a clam can't be stopped. Do you help people open up, or shut up?

Love you all,

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