This is a busy time for our summer classes. The Literacy Movement Workshop with Miss Bonnie ended a few days ago, with the children performing a short dance from Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf and compiling a writing portfolio. Even as a few students take a break from classes to attend summer camp or visit family, new students are joining. Our classes are focused on developing and mastering skills - literacy, math, music - sometimes it seems SO focused that I have to remember to step back and look at each child, not as a "skills machine" but as a whole person.
This amazing little person sitting in front of me has a life story that's coming together. God has promised a hope and a future for this child.
I so appreciate parents who are acutely aware of this, and consciously help their children develop strong executive function skills such as listening, self-control, and patience.
I have to constantly ask the Lord to give me eyes to see and a heart to sense what is happening with each student, each soul who bears the image of God. What is the long-term? The skills we focus on in class are just tools to help them fulfill this greater life picture. God is already speaking to them and breathing into them a calling and vision for what their lives will look like. Some of the children in our program, even at a young age, face an uphill battle - broken families, health issues, financial difficulties. Yet they are full of dreams and hopes.
At the beginning of the summer, the Reading & Math students completed an "All About Me" page that was attached to the cover of their folders. It included, "When I grow up, I want to be a _______________." We have aspiring firefighters, doctors, athletes, archaeologists, artists, teachers, even a pizza parlor worker. The beautiful thing is to see in each child a desire to live a life of meaning and service to others.
The obstacles each student faces today - that's not what defines them. It is God's calling on his or her life that gives identity. The role of Emerging FIELD is to help equip each student with some of the skills they need for the journey. If we can also help the students see with a bit more clarity who God is, His love, how to hear and obey His voice, what His calling for their life is - all the better.
Father, we pray each student will know You, and that they will allow You to write their life story. Thank You for the goodness, hope, and future You have in store for them. You are for them. You hear the cries of the weak, the fatherless, the sick. You restore, You transform, You make all things new. Our hope and our future are in You.