Several days before we left for a month in the States three of our girls made the short walk from our property to the small convenience store down the street. They came back saying that the girls in the neighborhood (all of which have been their friends for years) were calling them mean names and saying that they’re just here mooching off of us. It made me angry! I told them, “Well, we know that’s not the truth! They don’t know what they’re talking about. They’re just jealous.” I was seriously ready to find those kids and let them have it when one of our girls, Yohana, said, “My mom always told me that when someone is mean to you, you just go to your room and pray for them.” Ouch! Yeah, that’s what I meant to say…Let’s pray for them. So, right then and there we prayed for them. The day after we arrived in Florida we were worshiping at our home church. I couldn’t stop thinking about all our kids—I missed them so much. I was praying for them when God spoke to me. It was an encouragement to pray with the kids each time one of them came to tattle on another, which happens often. Any of you who have more than one child know what it’s like…”He hit me. She took my toy. He’s bugging me. She’s looking at me!” It’s the same thing here, it’s just that we have 30 kids! So, now that we’ve been back we’ve started praying with the offended and the offender. They have to hold hands, and I pray for them and over the situation. It goes something like this, “Lord, thank you that you love us even when we do bad things. It’s not easy being good all the time. Help us not to hit…take toys…say bad words…Help us to be a good family full of love.” Eventually it’ll be to where they are praying for each other!
We’re doing it with our 4 and 5 year olds and our 14 and 15 year olds, with the kids who live here and those who spend their days here and even the neighbors who just come to hang out! In fact, the other night as Michael and I were having a rather heated discussion John intervened and said, “Ok, we’re going to pray. Let’s hold hands.” It’s amazing what a difference it’s making!