Show Up!

The thump of the dirt as it hits the casket seems to echo throughout the small town of El Tejar. This is a sound we have heard too often the past three months.

While we are humbled to be one of the first phone calls to tell about the devastating news of losing a loved one, we realize the heaviness of walking through the dark days with the family. A mother calling to tell about the death of a husband, a teenage girl sending a message that her father passed away, and a mother crying uncontrollably as she realizes her young son was killed due to a senseless act of violence, are all reminders that walking through life with our students can be heavy.

But…we show up. We show up with food to help the family cook for the many visitors. We show up to sit in a small room at the student’s house while staring at a casket. We show up with open arms to embrace children who are realizing their lives will never be the same. We show up to hug a mother who is now a widow with children who depend on her. We show up to sit in dark alleys while our teachers and students hug a grieving teenager.

We show up to follow a van carrying the small casket of someone who our students loved dearly. We show up to stand in the cemetery as the family says their final good-byes. We show up to support the family as they lower the casket into the ground. We show up to watch the family pick up shovels and cover the casket with dirt. We show up to hug the students as they walk away from the grave realizing the sting of death.

How does Grace Ministries help these grieving families? We are able to provide the food to help them family as they cook for the ones who visit the house. We make sure our students have clothes and shoes to wear to the funeral. We provide transportation for the people so they do not have to make the long walk from the house to the cemetery.

If you give to Grace Ministries then you are a huge part in helping these families during the the darkest days.

We will continue to show up! While the lives of the children will never be the same, they will experience the security and stability of teachers who love them unconditionally. While the mothers grieve, they will have the assurance of their children receiving breakfast and lunch every day. The children have teachers who listen, care, and point them in the direction of Christ.

How can you help? Pray for our teachers as the Lord uses them to minister to the children and families. Pray for our children as they grieve. Give generously so we are able to continue to meet the needs of the families.

Out of respect for our families, I will not post personal pictures. However, this is a simple picture of a pot over an open fire. I took this picture on Tuesday night as we were leaving the house of a grieving family. The mother has prepared so many meals for her children over this open fire. She never imagined the pot and fire would be used to prepare food for visitors coming to pay respect for the death of her young son. May it be a reminder that people need Jesus. The harvest is ripe. May we be the ones who show up with the Light in the darkest days!

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