Most of the time we only spend one day each month with the young people at the NAOMI House. The respect and love they show us is a residual effect from the care they receive at NAOMI.
The parent-figures here are extraordinary. They’ve been called by God to fill the roles of mothers and fathers. NAOMI House is a safe home for children whose parents needed some help during hard times in the family. Some of those hard times last throughout their childhood. The Mom’s and Dad’s here who care for them go beyond the extra mile. They love these children in God’s more excellent way.
We show up and get our hearts warmed by everyone here. We show up and they cause our hearts to smile! We do bring a bounce house, athletic items, stuffed animals, rubber chickens, squirt guns and a lot of good food! Truth be told - the physical stuff we bring is useful, but the relationships we build are what streets of gold are paved with.
A Dad named Kai brought his two young daughters who joined in and created heart-smiles. Kai fixed several bikes, teaching the kids as he shared his heart. James and Jesse have come so often the kids ask for them by name. That’s important as relationships are built one heart-smile at a time.
There are service projects that we do from time to time. We try and do those while prioritizing our time with the children. We need help with reaping some drywall and heavy weed trimming. Let us know if you’d like to help, 716-830-8240.
We couldn’t show God’s love without some extraordinary collaborators. Diane from the Cedar Closet donates a huge amount of smile-inducing items! Thanks Diane we really appreciate you!
Next month begins a new tradition for us at NAOMI. We’ll celebrate birthdays for the month of October. We do that every month from now on for those whose birthdays fall in that month. We’re calling it “Sean’s Eagle Wings” in honor of Sean Steven Manygoats who’s now in heaven with Jesus. We’ll write more about why we’re honoring Sean in another story.
One of our traditions has been “Lunchtime Stories.” We tell a story as the young people settle in with their smiles and lunch. Our volunteers sit among them. Saturday’s story was about never putting anybody down because they’re not good at something. We all have weaknesses and flaws. None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. Here’s the story, (let us know your thoughts!)
THE CRACKED POT
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck.
One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years, this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made.
But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.
‘I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.’
The bearer asked, ‘Why? What are you ashamed of?’
The pot replied, ‘For these past two years I am able to deliver only half of my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you don’t get full value for your efforts.’
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion, he said, ‘As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.’
As they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it somewhat.
But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, ‘Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side?
That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them.
For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table.
Without you being just the way you are,
he would not have this beauty to grace his house.
Thanks for your time. Go do something nice for somebody. Jesus loves you and so do we.