One of the ways I’ve been involved through our ministry is my role as a rider on the Hope Fellowship Church Bus on Sunday mornings. I get to spend additional time with the kids through their transition from home to church and then back home after church. My jobs on the bus vary from making sure everyone stays seated to wiping down dirty faces on little ones that aren’t receiving enough care at home. The best part about riding on the bus is forming relationships with kids throughout the years.
One morning early this winter, a woman on the side of the road motioned for Veronica, our bus driver, to pull over. The woman asked if her three grandsons could come to church and be returned home afterwards. One by one, three boys, ages, 10, 8, and 6, walked onto the bus. I wasn’t sure if it would be the kind of situation where they may just come for one Sunday morning and never again, or if they would come consistently from then on. With all praise to God, these three boys have since come to nearly every Sunday morning service and participate regularly in ministry activities like Daycamp and Kid’s Club. Through my involvement on the bus I’ve had the chance to connect with each one individually, but I have connected the most with the youngest one, Jojo. He’s seven years old now and his favorite thing to play is tag, but he only likes to play if he’s the one being chased. J
I’ve seen many sides to Jojo and have watched him and his brothers move from home to home on the Reservation due to varying circumstances. I can say with sadness that the living situation of these boys is not ideal. They have observed and experienced far more than a young child should have to, and it shows through their words and actions at times.
As my departure for college grows closer, I’ve tried to become more intentional on speaking to Jojo about the Lord and how he can have a relationship with Him. It is not easy to try to explain to a seven year old, who has experienced significant trauma, that there is a God who loves him more than he’ll ever know and that he doesn’t have to be afraid because of God’s constant protection. I can only hope that the Lord will speak to him in ways that I can’t and help him understand.
It’s difficult to think about leaving Jojo when I’ve become a stable figure in his life over this year. However, the Lord is more powerful, more stable, and far more loving than I could ever be and I’m trying to rest in that. Please join me in praying that the Lord will continue to work in Jojo’s heart and the hearts of his brothers and that the Lord would protect them no matter their living situation.