It has been a wild two and a half weeks here in the golden state of California.
The sun has shone every single day I’ve been here ( all 18 of them). I continue to remind myself I don’t live here now. I am visiting.
(If a place is truly a home when you have people that feel like family, then Visalia is kind of home, because the Ludlows are already the relatives I’ll spend the rest of my life constantly waiting for the next reunion with.)
After a full week of preparation, we have spent 7 days driving an hour each way to the little town of Biola. A town whose children have wiggled their way into our hearts and thoughts and have already made us dread saying goodbye to them at the end of next week.
It is amazing to spend time with these kids. As I observe and interact with them, the more I see and understand that kids are kids are kids. No matter where they come from, no matter who has or hasn’t spoken into their lives, no matter what material or emotional deficiencies they come to us with, there is a desire and a need to just be acknowledged.
Before coming to California, my prayer was that my eyes and ears would be open for opportunities to love and care for the children I would work with.
Sometimes that looks like giving a hug to a child at the right moment, it might look like laughing at the not-that-funny joke. It might look like speaking words of encouragement and affirmation, or reminding them they are valued, or it might look like just playing or listening.
The theme for To Biola With Love is “created for muchness”. If you’ve seen the Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland, there’s a quote where the mad hatter asks Alice where her “muchness” has gone.
The truth we want to communicate is that we are all created with muchness in us by God. With purpose and for a purpose.
Fearfully and wonderfully made.
How cool, that we have been able to join in on something that God has already started doing in this community through its children.
We don’t take the responsibility of speaking into their lives lightly, but we definitely take joy in it, and I wish everyone I know could spend a day in Biola.
I wish you could be here so your heart could swell the way my heart swells when one of these little people gives me a hug.
To hear how they constantly surprise us with the funny and profound things they say (sometimes in the same breath.)
To see how these children, who have so little, have so much potential to do incredible things beyond what any of us can imagine.
It will certainly be difficult to say goodbye when the time comes, but I am so grateful to God for the opportunity to experience how fearfully and so very, very wonderfully they have each been made.
With purpose, for a purpose.
Created for muchness.