I have always been drawn to before and after pictures and stories. Home remodels, weight loss, hair styles, etc. The story of before and after transformations in the life of a homeless person is the most incredible one I will ever picture. When you think of the mental outlook of a family who views their future as bleak, no hope, no job, no bed, no place to live, and believes there is no end in site . . . compared to a person who has the word of the Lord being poured into them, someone who has been told they are valuable, given the tools to make changes and a difference in their life, and someone who takes those opportunities and succeeds . . . the transformation is incomparable to anything I can imagine.
One before and after that had never occurred to me was the life of a homeless child. A child is truly a victim of the situation. This story I just heard was about a 5-year-old little girl. A girl that didn’t have all of the luxuries of other children. I am not referring to the luxury of a video game, a fancy bike, or the latest fashion trend. I am referring to the basic necessities, the basic need of being warm, the luxury of her own bed.
This little 5-year-old girl had been shuffled in and out of the homeless shelters and had been working with the same counselor for over three years. The counselor shared that this little girl had always been incredibly serious and very insecure in life. After years of counseling and Agape House coming along side and lending financial support to the family, for the first time, this little girl is now smiling and dancing every opportunity she gets. She is ecstatic to have her own bed. She shared with the counselor how great it is to be warm. She beamed with joy as she shared how much she loves having her own toys, unpacked in her own room, and her own blanket to be warm . . . all these ‘luxuries’ are her own.
The little girl was excited to have her own place at a kitchen table that no one could take from her. When people go to a shelter for a meal, your place at the table is not guaranteed. Understandably, at any time, someone else who needs a place to sit will take a chair to sit. This little girl confessed that the thing that she is most thankful for is to have her own chair, at her own table, a chair that no one can take it from her.
This story is heart shattering for me. I share stories of success with you each week. Stories of how a mother has gained educational degree, or a father has full-time employment, and how a family of 5 now has a home that they all can live in together under the same roof. But this is one of the rare insights into the life of a 5-year-old that didn’t have a bed, didn’t have a place at a kitchen table, and who was cold all of the time because she didn’t have blankets. A little girl who was previously sad and serious. Now, with the help of Agape House, this little girl is smiling and dancing, she is warm, and above all she gets to experience the normal ‘luxuries’ in life.
Praise to God for Agape House and its volunteers and supporters, without you I wouldn’t have the joy of sharing success stories like these. Blessings to you.
All pictures and names are representations of actual families and not their actual photographs.