Today at Sidewalk we said good bye for the season. Here are the highlights:
I do not normally disrobe in public, but today I got naked in the grocery store. I was picking out watermelon, deposited one in the cart and when I turned to get the other, the cart kept the front of my lightweight blouse . I found considerably more of me exposed then I care to share with strangers, so I hastily tied the tear together in little knots, clutched my purse to my stomach and hurried to the check out stand. After paying for my purchases I rushed right home to change.
At Sidewalk Sunday School the kids made refrigerator magnets. I reminded them that this was our last weekly Sidewalk for the season, but that I would be seeing them soon for a Summer Splash (water party). Then I made the major announcement: I told them that I had loved my six years as their Sidewalk teacher, but that I was moving to Hawaii, and next year they would have a new teacher. No one seemed in the least bit upset or surprised. There were no startled expressions or looks of dismay. No one asked a single question. Then I was dismayed. After 6 years couldn’t somebody at least act — pretend even — to be a bit dismayed by my leaving? And then Ms. Betty stepped forward and presented me with a bouquet of flowers, and a card signed by every single child.
I visited with the children and fielded questions while they made crafts. The question they asked most was, “Will Sidewalk be back?” And the second most frequently asked question was, “How long will you be gone?” The first question was answered with an easy, “Yes.” The second answer, “Honey I am going to move there and get a job and live,” was greeted with teary eyes and sniffles. It didn’t take me long to realize that their initial non-reaction would have been easier to deal with.
Today’s craft was refrigerator magnets. Some of the kids gave theirs to me as gifts. Betty, Milli and I all brought food without consulting each other, so for lunch the kids had ice cream and cupcakes and for dessert they had watermelon and soda pop. The meal got a really big cheer. The reason they ate the ice cream first had much to do with the weather and practicality.
Finally, we closed in prayer and said good-bye. I received many hugs and a lot of the children asked me not to forget them — as if I could.
Every week we take their prayer requests and the people of the church pray for the ministry and children. This week I’d like to share the children’s prayers with you as well. These children who have very little themselves, know how to love and care for their neighbors.
MaKayla: pray that our new house is safe.
Sirenia: pray for Ms. Charlene to be safe in Hawaii.
Alejandra: I pray that MaKayla meets new friends in her new house, and that God is always with her.
Erika: pray that I will walk my friends home safely.
Hassam: pray for my cousins in California, they didn’t want to move.
Brandi: pray for my mom to keep getting better (stroke). Pray that my arm heals (minor burn).
Brittnay: I pray that my mother gets the money to pay the rent.
Raoul: please pray that Ms. Charlene has fun in Hawaii.
Juliana: please pray for my dad to stop drinking a lot.
Alejandra: pray that my grandma gets better (in hospital).
Maria: pray that Ms. Charlene has a good life in Hawaii.