Certain days pass where I think, I can’t let this day go by without sharing these stories.
For safety reasons I can’t share everything about what’s happening, except to say that we are uncovering the depths of the darkness here.
It is deep. Very deep. Like, I can’t sleep at night kind of deep. Ugly, sickening and scary.
But in the midst of all that are two shining lights – Yacser (12) and Cristian (14). Oh, these boys warm my heart.
We walked through their neighborhood today, passing out fliers describing what we do at La Ola. They rolled up their fliers into megaphones and shouted, “WE INVITE YOU! WE INVITE YOU!”
They handed out fliers at every door, proudly greeting their neighbors.
“If all these kids show up you guys are gonna have to help us!” I said. They smiled.
By the time we got back to La Ola the property was already filled with kids! Yacser and Cristian grabbed rakes and brooms and helped us quickly clean and set up.
We have a visiting artist here and pretty soon the back table was completely full of children painting and drawing.
Three moms showed up from the neighborhood who have never come before. They were delighted to see their children run up to show them their paintings and projects they worked on. The moms loved the program and said they would be back tomorrow.
Yacser and Cristian were the last to leave. They stayed and made sure every game piece, puzzle piece, paint brush and scrap of trash was picked up. They made sure the closet was in order and then grabbed brooms to sweep up.
“Let’s sweep tomorrow,” I said, exhausted. I was ready to go home.
“Ok,” the boys replied, “What time should we be here? We should probably come early.”
I could tell they really enjoyed helping out. They’ve been coming here for so long that they feel an ownership and investment into what goes on here. Now they had the chance to invite their whole neighborhood and welcome them in.
Well, Scott is painting the gate tomorrow in the morning, would you like to help? They nodded their heads eagerly and arranged a time to show up.