Hamp Life 4.16

Children are a gift from the Lord -Psalm 127:3

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The scars aren't all visible...

I've been learning a lot lately about the impacts of trauma on the developing child, and seeing more and more clearly the ways it plays out in real lives right in front of me. 17 year old Makayla is raising 3 babies on her own, her parents are both dead, she has no transportation, and no job because she is working hard to try and finish high school early. When she was young her father sexually abused her sister (not his daughter) and her mother became very upset and threatened to divorce him. Throughout the argument he eventually killed his wife, and then himself, leaving 5 children behind. Makayla and her siblings then went to live with a grandmother who had other children and grandchildren and she was basically on her own to survive. She became pregnant at age 13 and wanted to give her baby up for adoption but was scared and didn't have anyone to help her in the process. After the baby she missed a year of school and ended up pregnant again. She now has 3 children, with no desire to have anymore..and is trying to provide for them as best as she can. I am so encouraged by her resilience and love for her children. It took 3 months for her to finally ask for help after I made it available, and all she wanted was a pan to cook in. As we have been building a relationship she is learning that she does not have to do this all on her own, and that people genuinely want to help her without expecting anything in return. She's experiencing the love of Jesus for the first time! I went in her apartment to take food one day and found that it is completely empty and they are sleeping on the floor. Friends and supporters of mine have helped to provide her with basic kitchen supplies, several meals, rides to school, a mattress to sleep on, a new ID and even pay her rent for this month after her identity was stolen. She is attending church with another friend on Sunday! There are people just like Makayla all over our city who are just waiting on someone to be a strong social connection, and walk with them through this crazy life.

All in favor of that 9-5 life...

Life is funny sometimes in the way God writes our story… always preparing us for what's next even when we don't understand. This month He brought a big opportunity into my life quite unexpectedly. I accepted a full-time job at Le'Bonheur Children's Hospital as a Developmental Therapist for Early Intervention, and I start this week! I first heard about this job a few months ago during my foster parent training classes, as this is a service that is available to most foster children. I will be doing home-visits working towards a set of goals with 0-3 year olds who have developmental delays due to medical conditions, physical disabilities, neglect, poverty, or trauma. If you had asked a few months ago if I wanted a full-time job I would have said absolutely not, not even interested because of the amazing ways God has provided and paved a way for the life that I am currently living, and the availability that I have to the people around me. But, after a few hints that I needed to open up to the idea..I decided I would only work a job that added to my ministry, and did not take away from what I am already doing. Boom. I did one online job search and Le'Bonheur had an opening for just that. I will be able to work four days a week, teaching basic life skills to children all over the city, and still be with the children in my care the rest of the week. My passion for children began a long time ago, but my decision to major in Early Childhood Education in college came from my experiences at the orphanages that I have worked in overseas…teaching toddlers how to walk, talk, and play because many times they don't have anyone else there to teach them those things. I always knew that I did not want to teach in a general school environment. I want to be in the streets, doing life with the people on the most natural and neighborly level..and this job allows me to be right inside their homes! Le'Bonheur began as a dream of a small circle of Christian ladies who got together to sew clothing for orphan children, and they still hold those women's faith based values highly today. They encourage praying with patients, so I will be able to pray with people in their homes also as they wish. I am very excited about the connections and experiences that this will bring as door-to-door prayer is one of my favorite things to do overseas. I had mixed emotions at first because of a few changes that I will have to make, the most difficult being leaving a nanny job that has become so much more than just that. HG and her family have been a huge support for my ministry, and opened their home to any children that I had with me. I know that our relationship will continue, and #adventuresofjjandhg will go on! A few people have asked how they can help in this transition, and even offered child care!.. and although I'm not certain what may come up, I know I won't have much time to cook! Easy meals are always welcome and appreciated whenever I have children in my care. Otherwise we will be doing a lot of mac'n cheese. ;) Prayer of course is always the best way that you can support us! Thanks so much for all of the encouragement I have already received.

Current Prayer and Material Need

Prayer:

-Balancing a new job and ministry/life.

-New opportunities for relationships with patients and the Le'Bonheur family.

-Foster care approval and placements. The system takes a while in this process, and the waiting and uncertainty is difficult!

-Continued ministry to the struggling families and teens that I am close to.

-All children who I am in contact with that are healing from trauma and pain.

-MK strength and energy to balance all of the different needs.


Material:

-Snacks for ministry at the high school, and for neighbor children who visit.

-Baby room video monitor

-Razr scooters for neighbor kids green line adventures.

-Jump ropes, hula-hoops, bubbles, chalk, etc. for summer neighborhood fun.

-Children's swimsuits (all sizes)

-Target or Kroger gift cards have been the best! These kids can go through some TP!


Feel free to share this e-mail with others in your community who may be interested in praying and joining in on this great tribe of support! Thank you!


-If you would like to read more, or donate to the children's fund, you can do so on my goFundMe page or e-mail for other methods. https://www.gofundme.com/3b8gzy6c

About MK and the Hamp

MK lives in the Binghampton Neighborhood in Memphis, TN serving the community with the gospel of Jesus Christ at the center of it all. Working in other countries and being a part of many ministries and programs has given great perspective and passion for all of Gods children to know His love. Recently returning from doing a lot of ministry overseas, God has opened many doors for opportunity to work through MK and friends right here in Memphis.