Thursday, December 9, 2010

Youth love and hugs

Last night was our last youth night for the semester. We gave the kids "Youth Night" t-shirts, and we wrote them personal letters to let them know how much we love them. We did have a Hungry Hippos tournament in the basement, and we played a new version of the mousetrap game, and of course the kids did some homework too... but there seemed to be a special, sweet spirit about the evening. Everyone got along, I don't think there were any fights, and the kids and volunteers played the games together in teams.

Usually, the end of the evening is the most chaotic, trying to corral everyone onto the van with their bags and coats and shoes... once I wave good-bye, I give a big exhausted sigh. But last night, we got all the kids in the living room to give them their gifts, then Jared said, "Ok, everyone on the van!" - and no one moved! It was a beautiful picture, everyone sitting around with their gifts and talking and happy. It hit me that I won't see any of them for four weeks, and suddenly I didn't want to press them to leave... I wanted them to stay!

When they finally got moving, I got a dozen hugs from the kids. Problem was that my body had been really tired and weak all evening, and I couldn't lift my arms to hug them back. I hate when that happens, because I absolutely love giving and getting hugs. But all I could do last night was receive their love. 

I hope they know that I really love them too. I hope they feel Love when they are here with us. Pray that they do, and that they hang on to that Love over the Christmas break.

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