After spending the last 6 months building a handful of friendly, trusting relationships, we suddenly find ourselves having to start all over again!  There are at least 5 empty houses where families with children used to live, some of which we had come to love.  Now, these houses have “For Rent” or “For Sale” signs in the yard and have been undergoing repairs and sprucing up.  I’m glad to see the houses getting some much needed attention, but I miss my little after school friends!  I miss their sweet smiles, the joy on their faces when I brought out my snack box, the fact that they were starting to understand that they were loved here and wanted to share part of their day with us.

Now, don’t get me wrong, we still have plenty of children around and we still have kids to share snacks with after school everyday at 4pm!  But, we are having to learn all new names and personalities.  We are having to start over again proving our love to this new group of friends.  Case and point:  earlier this week I was on the front porch sharing snacks with a couple of girls, one of which was one of our “new” friends.  I was just simply making conversation and asked if she had a good day at school.  Her response was,”Why are you asking me that?”  This precious girl is probably 10-11 years old and did not understand that this was my way of showing her I cared about her!  It made me wonder if anyone had ever asked her that before or if she even has an adult in her life that is taking time to invest in her daily.  Maybe God has placed her on my front porch every day this week for a reason!  You can be sure I’m going to keep asking how her day has been!  Hopefully, eventually she will come to trust me and understand that I ask because I truly care about her wellbeing!

Even though we have a lot of new friends coming around these days, we still have a few “old” friends coming around, too.  They are helping the others learn the ropes, so to speak.  I’m sure that’s how the new friends knew to come to my house for an afterschool snack, after all.  That tells me we are doing something right, if one child is telling another about CH#3!  And, even though I miss my little friends that have moved away, God is showing me daily that we are having success in this adventure on the West Side.  I trust Him to grow whatever seeds of faith and love were planted in those that have moved.  He will put others in their lives as they grow and mature to continue cultivating the harvest, even if we never know the results.

“So neither the one who plants not the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:7