Monday through Thursday, our after school program concludes at 5:00PM. For the most part, students pack up and eagerly await their grown up's arrival. The process is swift. Grown ups line up outside our portable wall and show their pick-up tag and students hug me goodbye. Our 5:00-6:00 hour is dedicated to targeted tutoring and special clubs. The student pictured above does not pack up at 5:00. She has made herself comfortable with staying and often asks for help, then pauses and says, "never-mind, we will work on it when the other kids are gone". Her family is from Africa, she and her older sister are in school and working hard to learn the language and understand the culture. While their family is Muslim, their father came weekly for a month last year seeking a spot for his girls in our program. A friend of the family already had his girls in Graffiti 2 After School and shared about it. When we were able to extend an invitation to accept his girls, he was overjoyed! As a part of our intake process, we explain to families that Graffiti 2 is a Christian program and we instill Christian values daily. Bible Study is a vital component to our schedule. Dad agreed that his girls would be allowed to participate by sitting in on Bible study and showing respect. The younger of the two sisters has always shown a desire to continue learning past our scheduled Bible study time. Yesterday, she grabbed my Jesus Storybook Bible, (as she often does) and continued reading on her own. When students were picked up and our interns were set up with our tutoring groups, I sat down with A.D. I asked her what she was reading and she showed me the picture of Noah's Ark. She continued to read out loud and then stopped. "But Ms. JoAnn, I have a question.." and it started. She had question after question about the stories we have studied. She turned back to our story about creation and asked, "If God was here and created the world, how was He born here?" and turned to the story of Jesus' birth. Other questions included:
"but who is the enemy?"
"where did he come from?"
"why did God make the tree if He didn't want Adam and Eve to eat from it?"
"where is the enemy?"
"how can we believe in the Holy Spirit, why can't we see it?"
The questions went on and on. She finally asked if I had another Jesus Storybook Bible. I explained that I only had one and asked why. A.D. said she wanted to take one home to read. I shared that she was always welcome to read mine here at Graffiti 2 and that if her parents were ok with it, I would gladly get her one. Please join me in praying for A.D's parents. I am filled with joy seeing the Lord work in the lives of our students. Please pray the Lord would draw their families to Himself and soften their hearts to hear His call.
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!