“Be patient, and when your opportunity comes, I encourage you to do it,” said Ofanise. We were enjoying an afternoon together with the Accolade for Saving Lives (ASL) program moms. Oflanise and 4 other moms had just completed their second week of sewing training and she wanted to share about her experience and encourage the other moms. “I know it is difficult to leave what you need to do every day, but it is worth it. What we get here you cannot get somewhere else. It is such a gift and I am so grateful. Thank you for this opportunity. I really encourage all of you.”
ASL has been walking alongside their program families for three years now, encouraging the moms (parent figures) to work together, grow together, support each others’ progress and be patient with CLIMB and ASL as we follow God into unknown territory. God has provided and He moving mightily among us now.
I wish I could have literally opened my heart and mind for all of you to see and feel, to experience the extent of emotion that settled upon me as Olfanise addressed her peers. In a flash I was in the first ASL mom meeting with the “original ten”. An awkward, tense emotion had filled the air. Now, three years of heart work replayed in my mind. Covered in goosebumps, barely able to stand still, I took it all in. The same group of ten women, plus ten more are giving their full attention to Oflanise. One of us has passed on to Heaven and in her place sits her daughter – encouraged and supported by the others to keep on keeping on, to have faith and to stand strong. WE ARE FAMILY!
Smiles and conversation now replace hopelessness and awkward interactions. There is understanding among and between all in this place – we’ve got your back and I trust that you have mine, too. Unspoken but understood. YOU BELONG, not because WE love you, but because your Father God loves you. You have purpose, not because WE created purpose for you, but because you were created ON PURPOSE with purpose by your Father God.
Words cannot take you there, but oh how I wish they could. This privilege of witnessing life transformation will never get old. Pray with me for perseverance in the journey. The kingdom rewards are too many for us not to persevere!
Philippians 1:6–And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.