"Mama Bev" and the kids running club
(photo by: Joni)
Don't mess. Anyone who is a mom or has/had a mom (that would be everyone...) knows how we feel about protecting our children. It's that maternal instinct like when you come between a mama Grizzly and her cub...DON'T MESS with my KID! It's the mama bear in us that kicks in and becomes this "I can take you and whoever else on right now, right here-and trust me you will be sorry!"
It's not only when our children are threatened-the same passion turns into the caring nurse who goes without sleep when her kidlets are sick. This mama bear trait is wired in us-I get very protective and care for my boys (and staff!) and don't like to see any of them be scared, sick, or uncared for...but what about those kids who are not protected?
The not-so serious picture!
Whenever we go out to a community we are surrounded by kids-as their parents work on the farm they are free to roam around anywhere. However, sometimes we find that kids are sick-with parents unable to provide the care needed for them-sometimes we come across kids being abused. In the city of Monrovia kids are on the streets trying to sell small items and fruit to make money-and again in the worse cases young girls with no parents (or no parents that care) are left to roam the streets at night trying to make enough money to for a meal...
This is the reality of not only Liberia but in many places around the world. We are very blessed to have a whole sector devoted to child protection-and we also have a children's ministry program that caters to kids in the rural areas we are working in. Our Child protection program manager is Danielle Carpenter. Hailing from the wide open skies of Montana-Danielle started as a SP intern working with our VBS program and moved to the program manager position last June. Another cool fact about Danielle is that she is training for a marathon in Jan! It has been awesome to train with Danielle when I get the chance and when I can keep up! I am super proud of her discipline and perseverance to get out there and do the hard training it takes to run a marathon. Here is Danielle in action teaching children in one of the rural communities where we have projects.
I love this picture of Danielle teaching from the Word!
Part of our community development includes children and giving parents the tools to protect their kids. This may mean helping them earn incomes to send their kids to school or to pay for any type of medicine that they need-it may mean a week long kids club teaching kids about a God that loves them so much. We don't want to leave kids behind in our programming-they are the future of Liberia!
Staff -Justin playing with some kids in a community.
Whenever we are in communities we usually end up holding a baby or a little child will come along side of us and gently slip their hand into ours..looking for a little love and a little protection.