17 Oct Day 9
by House Mother Angelita
I remember the day, four years ago, when I finally understood what it meant to be a house mother. I was only in my second month at Hope when I got the call about Lyla.
Every evening, before praying for dinner, I ask the children to share anything they want prayer for. A few days earlier, Lyla had shared that she was waking up sad every morning, because she was having bad dreams that her mother had passed away. We started praying, and within a few days Lyla was feeling better.
Then the phone call came. It was Adriana, our head social worker, informing me that Lyla’s mother had passed away. Lyla should stay home from school the next day, so Adriana could come over and we could inform her together. I was in shock.
Lyla woke up really happy the next morning. She was usually grumpy, but for some reason, on that day, she was different. As she prepared to get ready for school, I said “Lyla, you can’t go to school today. You have an appointment with Adriana.”
When Adriana arrived, we all sat down together, and finally broke the news. Lyla did not show any reaction. I didn’t know what to do. I felt like crying, but held my tears until they finished talking. Still, no reaction at all from Lyla. She just kept staring at the floor.
After Adriana left, I said, “Lyla, I don’t know what’s going through your mind, and what you’re feeling in your heart right now. But I want you to know that you haven’t lost the only person who loved you. I love you, and everybody here loves you, and we will always be here for you.”
As soon as I finished talking, she started sobbing. I couldn’t help myself, and cried too. She cried loudly, for a long time, expressing all the pain and emotions that she had never felt safe expressing before. When she finally stopped crying, she dried her eyes and said, “From now on, I will call you mother.”
Starting that day, we started going on walks every day. During these walks, we had the chance to spend one-on-one time, and I was able to minister to her, and to express my love for her. Over time she came to recognize the love and care that all the other children and other staff had for her as well.
It was not long after this that Lyla gave her life to Christ. She learned to express her feelings, and care for others. She did well during the rest of her time in the program, graduated, and is now working and living on her own. There is no way to describe my joy in being part of the process of growth she has experienced.
Lyla still calls me “Mom.” I often visit her at work, and am proud of how well she is doing. She has turned into a fine young woman of principles and faith, with a wonderful future lying ahead. I’m so thankful that God brought me into Lyla’s life during the exact time He knew she would need me to be her mom.
I ask that you pray for the confusing emotions, the brokenness and the pain that our students feel and carry from their past. Pray they will find peace, hope, comfort and a shoulder to cry on when they need to, and that the Holy Spirit will always guide us and give us the right words to share with them.