This Christmas season, I felt the presence of hope in Church Hill.
During this past Christmas season, I felt the presence of hope more clearly than I have in a long time. Each day, as I went through our neighborhood, which is often associated with anything but hope, HOPE is what I saw.
Hope shining through Christmas lights, hanging from porches that are typically dark and void of life, hope reaching out through neighbors sharing cars, food, and places to sleep when other's resources had run out, and hope beaming from a parent's face when they see their child overcoming previous obstacles that they thought were too great to ever accomplish victory over.
Daily, I pray and hope that God is somehow able to find a way to use my broken vessel among the children and families I serve.
And He awes me with the experiences I get to share with my students and their families. Just as God shared hope through Christmas lights and neighbors helping
neighbors, He has also given me hope through my students.
One of my students has experienced some very difficult events in just three years of life. This child is very quiet and has struggled to engage with the class, leaving me to sometimes doubt myself and wonder how the child is learning and growing. Then, I get an email from the child's mom, saying her child cried every day the first week of Christmas break, because they wanted to be at school. When we started back, this child was so excited when they saw the school bus they ran out the door screaming, "Time to go to school!"
I cannot express enough the joy I receive, even with the struggles, in teaching my students and partnering with their parents.
Each family brings their own story, and I am blessed to have a page in their book.