Last month a boy and his mother had to move out of their home in the area because the rent was too high. They ended up staying temporarily with a friend while organizing money for a new rental property.
The son is a sweet boy I will call “Billy.” He is very good natured, but also incredibly shy, and speaks with a very quiet voice. When he started coming to church with my friend on Sunday nights I wanted to find a way to minister to him. We met a few times at the house for bible lessons, but his being shy made conversation difficult.
Finally Thursday I invited him to come play with some other friends from the neighborhood the next day (we occasionally have “sports days” on Friday so kids can learn to play as a team. He was VERY excited about doing this with them tomorrow.
The other children were less than enthused….
Not because they didn’t like him, but because they didn’t KNOW him.
Since sports days are about learning to work with others I informed them there were two options. Option A let him come and play with them, or Option B stay home. Understandably they chose Option A 🙂
After starting things Friday I went to get Billy. He spent a few minutes off by himself. but then started to play with the other kids. Of course after a while they were playing together as if they’d known each other for years. After sports he sat down alongside them to feast on mangoes from a nearby tree. One of the kids told me they had to make a kite out of sticks, a plastic bag, and thread for school Monday. I offered to help them make the kites, and she immediately said “bring Billy.”
That’s the moment I knew he was accepted
We all built kites yesterday, and were even able to practice flying them at the local park (while trying out the playground equipment). I finally walked Billy home around 3:00 with a huge smile on his face.
What probably drew me to Billy is he’s like me as a child; quiet, shy, and introverted…..
Someone who just needs a friend.
A big part of the Christian life (and missions in general) is finding that individual who needs a friend, inviting them into the family, and making sure that they are accepted. This process sadly can’t involve every child who needs friendship, but it can bring in an as many as possible.
This afternoon Billy asked me if Jamie (not his real name) could come to our reading help ministry. I promised to let him come once I’d go permission from his mother.
May the family keep expanding!