Monday, June 24, 2013

A visit from Sunil*

I've been computer-less this week (I am typing this at our public library).  Over the weekend, a techno-savvy friend has been trying to determine if our computer can be saved.  Hopefully, even if it is dead, my recent documents and recent photos can be saved . . .

I wanted to tell you about Sunil*, who was visiting from a large city in India.  He orchestrates rescue operations for girls trafficked in the red light district in his city.  He's been in our city for one month, and took time to speak to my ministry team about his work.

I don't mention it often on our blog, but I lead a ministry in our city that serves women who work in the local s*x industry.  We were able to listen to Sunil's life story and hear how rescue operations are conducted in his organization.  He was born into the red light district himself, as his mother and an aunt worked there.  When he became a Christian in his late teens, Sunil felt that God had placed him in a unique position to help women, especially minors, escape the degradation and enslavement that was forced upon them. 

He is an incredible man of God, serving out of his own past woundedness.  It was fascinating to hear how he gathers information about girls who are literally hidden away, works with the police to organize rescues, and gets the girls to a safe place where they receive counseling, receive an education, attend Bible studies, learn a trade so they can support themselves, and have time to heal from the trauma they've endured.

Please keep Sunil in your prayers.  His work is very dangerous, and can be discouraging because he knows they are only able to help a small number of the girls who are being exploited every day.  In the face of those realities, his dedication and relentless willingness to help are all the more amazing. 

*name changed for his safety

Monday, June 3, 2013


I know some moms are really emotional at the beginning of the school year, but I seem to always be that way at the end of the year.  The end of the school year makes me so aware of time passing . . . I think to myself, "Aaron will never be a 6th grader again, Nathan will never be a 5th grader again, and Anya will never be a kindergartener again." 

Aaron was a Safety Patrol captain this year, and his days on safety patrol are over now as he enters middle school in the fall.  He is about 1 inch shorter than me, and wears men's size 11 shoes. (Yikes!)   Nathan left Cub Scouts behind and became a Boy Scout this year.  They've both matured so much . . . especially Nathan.  He still has his goofy sense of humor, but has learned more about when it's appropriate (with some great reinforcement at school by his creative, wonderful teacher).  Their friendship with each other gives me such joy -- when they go to bed at night, we always hear talking and laughter.  But they are not too old to really play with their little sister -- the kindness they show when they include Anya warms this Mama's heart.

Of course, the end of the year brings a few bumps in the road . . . such as forgetting until Sunday that a video project and paper are due TODAY.  (During the last week of school? Why? WHY?!)  And my lunch-packing skilz have taken a nosedive.  Nobody's going to be putting my kids' lunches on Pinterest this week, that's for sure!

And Anya . . . what a huge year she's had. There are so many things I want to "remember-ize," as she says.  Over the school year, she went from being clinging and uncertain about school to a confident, relaxed, engaged almost-first-grader.  I am relishing that she still holds my hand every morning as we walk to the playground, and races out of school at day's end with a huge smile, running straight into my arms. 

I love all the questions she asks -- on the way home from church yesterday, I had to give her a scientific explanation of lightning and thunder, and explain how fog/mist/clouds condense into raindrops when cold air hits them.  And it wasn't even raining -- that's just what was on her mind!  After being scolded by a ground-nesting bird at a mini-golf course last week, we had to look up what kind of bird it was (ruffled grouse). She is so curious about the world!  Except for bugs.  She is phobic of those (I will not take credit for that -- I'm only spider & centipede phobic!)

She loves math and is a fluent reader. Anya loves to sound out words everywhere (including some billboards or ads I'd rather not have her read!).  She loves to write down her own stories and made many Mother's Day cards and drawings for me.  My favorite was 20 tiny pieces of paper that I had to read in consecutive order:
20.  I love you.
19. Do you love me?
18. Do you love me forever?
17. Cus I do.
16. So do you? Do you?
15. Cus I reiley do.
14. You can't take a secind!
13. I just can't wait!
12. I can't wait for you to ansor.
11. You have to tell me
10. if you do.
9. or if you do not!
8. So wat's your ansor?
7. Or do you have an ansor?
6. So do you? Do you?
5. Oh, your better than that.
4. Come on, you can tell me.
3. Your my mom!
2. Come on!!!
1. Yay! You love me !!!!!!

I do, indeed -- I love my quickly-changing kids so much.  And as much as I want to freeze them just the way they are, I also look forward to all the ways they will continue to grow -- and I'm so thankful that God let me be their mother.