We were a happy family of four, loving God, involved in church and generally going about our lives. But, something began to change when our kids started school.
We were a happy family of four, loving God, involved in church and generally going about our lives. But, something began to change when our kids started school. We started noticing a trend, we began to see that the area we live in is full of broken families. Divorce runs rampant and we were encountering the children it left in its wake.
We watched from a distance, as ‘broken’ families in primary school often became fully ‘dysfunctional’ by high school. Distant, absent fathers. Moms working multiple jobs to keep the family financially afloat. Parents treading water to survive, all while being emotionally and physically largely unavailable to their children. Put quite simply, parents had no time for their kids. Even with the best intentions.
The friends my children loved and spent time with, were from families where drugs and alcohol had a seat at the dinner table, and physical and substance abuse played starring roles in the families. Broken promises, sad stories, parents and children both needing real love and real help.
Over a few years, I felt like God really grew my heart for these children. I desired to make a difference in their lives. To love them. To show them God’s love. I felt like God showed me two things that I had in my hands that I could use to bless them: I have a home, and I have love.
I handed over my two things, my ‘loaves and fishes’ as it were, to God, and he used them, multiplied them even! My home is always open, if someone needs a meal, time out, a place to stay for a day or a week it doesn’t matter. As a result we always seem to have kids at our house. Which we love. One of the children who comes over regularly, arrives and however long he stays, that’s how I know how bad things are at home.
If anyone is ever staying with us on a Saturday night, we always invite them to church. We hope that they’ll come, and that one day, they will encounter the ultimate ‘safe place’, Christ himself. Our safe place, is just a tiny representation here in Cape Town, of the invitation, the safety, the rest, the welcoming and overwhelming love, peace and wholeness that we find in Christ Jesus.
I never quite pictured my home being like this. But I know it’s what God dreamed for us. We can sometimes as parents, think that we are so busy with the juggle of work, home, and parenting that we don’t have time to do God’s will and to be his hands and feet. I have learnt that he uses what we are willing to give him, our ‘loaves and fishes’, however small they may seem, and he multiplies our obedience and sacrifice into something more beautiful than we could ever have imagined.