This is my grandaughter Olivia. In this picture she is pouring drinks, not for herself, but for those that we came to serve. For a few years now Olivia has been expressing an interest in wanting to help others in need. I could see that this was something that God was putting on her heart so I began to pray for an opportunity. Unfortunately it's not that easy to find hands-on volunteer opportunities that children can take part in due to liability issues. I think that's sad because it teaches them how to take part in volunteer efforts as adults. I believe that a lot more adults would get involved in volunteer work if they had some previous exposure, and when children grow up doing it then it is more likely to become part of their lifestyle.
In any case, God opened up an opportunity where we could volunteer as a family to serve women that have left a life of abuse. SafeHaven of Tarrant county offers services for battered women and their children that include emergency shelters, a transitional living program, counseling, and others. It is a wonderful organization that helps these families to make the adjustments necessary to successfully leave their abusive situations and not walk back into them. Once a week families in the transitional living program meet for counseling and a meal is served before their sessions begin. So every 3 weeks my daughter, grandaughters, and I get to prepare the meal and serve it to these families. These people are so nice and a joy to cook for. One little boy is especially fun, he is about 5 or 6 I think and he can EAT! He always comes back for seconds and thirds at least and each time he comes back to the table with a HUGE smile on his face.
Olivia is totally loving this. It is so clear that she is doing what God has designed her to do. The other two are also loving this even though they aren't doing any serving of food, they are spreading love to all the other little kids as they play with them. It's so sweet too because they understand our purpose there and they are quite patient about waiting until we serve others before fixing them a plate. I love what this is teaching them.
We cannot take pictures of anyone in the program but here's my little ones enjoying their meal.
After we packed everthing up to go home we took a few pictures of the girls being who God created them to be, distinctly individual and unique. Of course I have to add ... Aren't they just adorable!? :D