I had two beautiful visitors in the last two months! They have both brought so much joy to my days! I've made my way off of my block multiple times. This is big as I can go a weeks at a time without leaving my neighborhood. I've enjoyed playing tourist! I've enjoyed having a little bit of home come to NYC! Not only did these girls come and hang out with me, but they totally blessed my Graffiti 2 kiddos! They jumped right in and helped with homework, led in music, and tackled tutoring!! I am so grateful for the chance to share first hand what a day in the life of Graffiti 2 Community Ministries looks like. Most of all... I am grateful for all the laughing!! It is rare to catch a moment of uncontrollable laughter on video... but here is a beauty! Enjoy Vickey vs. Hudson River Winds.
I look forward to Sunday afternoons because I know I get to spend time with 3 very special little girls. They are in foster care and their foster mom works evenings so it helps her out to have the girls come spend the afternoon with me and then join me for church in the evening. Usually, the girls go home after church. However, this past Sunday their mom was a little later getting home so the came back to my apartment after church and I shared a song our after school students would be singing next Sunday with them. They loved it and said they wanted to sing as well. The song is beautiful and slow and based on Isaiah 9:6:
"For a child is born to us, A son is given to us; And the government Is upon His shoulder; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace."
They recognized the verse from Andrew'w preaching and were so excited. As we discussed how this verse was in the Bible before Jesus was born and how Jesus came to be a sacrifice for our sins Christina, a second grader, asked me if Jesus died. I clarified what it meant to be a sacrifice and why a sacrifice was needed to cover our sins and she had this look of concern on her face and asked me, "did you cry?" I smiled at her and explained that it happened a long time ago and we can celebrate that He is risen and with the Father. This didn't seem to satisfy her. She went on to ask again, "but did you cry? " and I could see this look of loss on her sweet little face. Of course I've had moments where I stop and realize the sacrifice that was made for me, yet around Christmas I tend to focus on celebrating Jesus' birth. It was in this moment with Christina looking at the images of an innocent and beautiful baby in a manger that would one day give his life for me that I was so deeply convicted. Yes, I will forever celebrate the birth of our King. However, it cannot be separate from the reason he came. I am a child of God and I praise King Jesus for that!
The holiday season is kicked off by a yearly trip to Graffiti in Manhattan to serve at their Thanksgiving dinner. Graffiti Serving And Leading Teenagers (G.S.A.L.T.) start asking and looking forward to this mission activity in early November! Our group hops on a subway to take the 40 minute ride eager to see the city transformed into a winter wonderland. While this year was not nearly as cold as years past, the fun Christmas lights and decorations did not disappoint! To add to the excitement, Acteen girls from Kentucky gave an offering to support G.S.A.L.T. Acteens as they served! After a wonderful and tiring evening of helping serve a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and cleaning up our group was treated to a delicious dinner at Shake Shack! It is an honor to work with each of these girls. They are so incredibly special. Please join me in praying for their spiritual growth. If you would like to know how to pray specifically for one of our girls, please click the button below to email me and I will gladly share!
I'm JoAnn. I am a God worshipping, Jesus following, child teaching, puppy petting, daughter of the King of Kings, who is grateful for daily grace and forgiveness!