All of our kids start school today, and I am really looking forward to seeing what they will accomplish this year. Many of you reading this either have kids that started school this year or are kids who started school this year, and there is this energy/feeling that accompanies that first day of school. There is the uneasiness of starting something new that combines with the thrill of seeing friends that you have not seen for a while which is accompanied by that little hint of fear that you may not fit in or that the work will be too difficult this year. But mostly, there is excitement. There is a blank slate. There is a group of kids who are ready to get back out and see what they can do. I am excited for our kids especially with the level at which they continue to develop and mature. They truly have the potential to grow into men and women of GOD and I am just sitting here (it is the night before school right now) thinking about what a great opportunity they have.
Another thought that is going through my mind is that I am wondering if our kids realize the opportunity that they have. Do any kids who are starting school this year realize the opportunities that accompany an education? It is really hard for me to separate the idea that our kids are in school and have this great opportunity to learn and develop from the idea that so few people in this country get that same opportunity. Because of that, sometimes it is difficult for me to not put pressure on them or to not want them to be more grateful for this opportunity. This is one of the difficult things about running an orphanage because I have to always remember that they are just kids. They are going to make mistakes, they are going to do really well some days and really poorly others, and they are not always going to be grateful for things that they should be grateful for. We will teach them to be and we will help them to understand the sacrifices that you guys (their sponsors and supporters) make for them, but at the same time I want to make sure that they enjoy school and realize it is something that can help to change their future.
For this year, as you are praying for All Things New and specifically for our kids, pray with me that our kids realize how much GOD has blessed them with this opportunity. Not in a way that will add pressure to them, but in a way that will bring them closer to Jesus Christ because they will see the special blessing that a strong education is for every other aspect of their life. Pray for our employees, for us, and for the kids’ teachers also that we can be used to help our kids grow and to help them realize the blessing that GOD is giving them. Thank you for all that you do and for being a part of our kids’ lives. It is special to see how much they are changing, growing, and maturing and it would not be possible without you.