Back to School at Our Children's Shelter
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" Philippians 4:6.
Back to school can be very hard for a child in care. There are so many things to be anxious about. Many children will be starting a new school—and not just a new school, this might be one of the many new schools they have started recently and, more than likely, this is just the first new school of the year. Many fear that they will be made fun of for living in a shelter.
The first day of school brings back memories of their families, and it is a harsh reminder that they will not have their parents to come home to after school like everyone else. Many children are anxious because they are so behind in their schoolwork due to their trauma and their moving around. Many kids don’t think school is important because they don’t have their parents supporting them and pushing them to succeed.
Back to school for our shelter is not just shopping and first day of school pictures—for the children in our care it’s trauma, it’s triggering and it’s a reminder of all that is wrong in their life at the moment.
Every year at this time, I shed many tears in prayer for our children here in our Children’s Shelter. I pray for all their supplies; I pray they feel loved and supported enough to succeed. I pray for others to come alongside them just to pray and support them in education and life in general. I pray for their hearts—that they will not be broken by their triggered trauma.
And, just like that, God shows up.
God used our entire community to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of these children, stepping in the gaps for their parents who could not be here.
One of my favorite things of going back to school is our annual “Back to School Pastor Cookout.” I spend a few hours sweating over the grill while Ms. Shirley prepares an entire buffet to feed the pastors of our church. They all come and spend the time fellowshipping, praying and just loving on our children, setting their anxieties at ease. It is such a blessing to watch this shelter become full of the men of God this ministry has supporting us.
We had countless church members who supplied all of our back to school needs. Every child’s list was met and then some. From notebooks to socks, everything these children would need was supplied. This means so much more than just physical supplies, it shows the children that our community cares. Sally Gott and her family were at the stores battling the crowds making sure everything the children needed was supplied because she feels “kiddos should always be encouraged to learn.”
In a time of the year when anxiety could be crippling for a child in care, God supplies. By bringing our needs to Him, He supplies and equips His people to serve. After all, He is the Father to fatherless. Yes, we still had children having a hard time as school started, but now they know that they are loved, and they know that even in their darkest of times, even in their trauma-induced behavioral challenges, they are supported.
-written by Jamie Scher, Director of our Children’s Shelter
If you are interested in being that support for a child in our Children’s Shelter, please contact our Children’s Shelter Director, Jamie Scher, at Jamie.Scher@FBCHOMES.ORG