Our trip is over!
We started our trip on Friday night with the volunteer coordinator at Laura’s Home, Jaime. Jaime came to talk to us a little about the women and children’s’ programming and why they may have come to Laura’s Home. Our team member asked, “what is the greatest gift we can give them tomorrow, in one day?” Jaime said “treat them like humans.” This was not a feel good or a zoo experience but a meeting of humans, all kinds of people who are broken and need Jesus, our team included.
This perspective left us ready and charged for our day of loving women and their children just like we long to be loved. We talked about using our words for healing and encouragement not recklessly. Ephesians 4:29 reads:
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
The next day, women and children met us in the dinning area of Laura’s Home to share in two things most people can get behind, board games and the sweet treat of donuts. We sat down and shared stories and hugged kiddos as people trickled in and out of the room.
Our next task was unexpected but a joy! As ladies headed out to spend the day with their kids or with family offsite, we jumped into cleaning up from breakfast and helping set up for lunch. Another group of volunteers were there to prepare the lunch alongside some of the residents of Laura’s Home. We got to join these volunteers, like the true body of Christ, and serve the ladies their food then share the meal with them. We again were spread out listening and sharing with different women.
Our third task of the day was finishing painting a set of bathrooms downstairs. Our team was given the task of the women’s restroom but we decided to tackle both men’s and women’s. Everyone grabbed a brush and saw what needed to be done. We worked for about three hours in two bathrooms and finished right on schedule. We played worship music and danced and laughed.
Jaime then gave us a tour of Laura’s Home. We saw the boutique where women have the opportunity to buy clothes (our team was temped to do some shopping ourselves). We saw the Resource Center, which is a computer lab that is designed to help women set up an email for job applications, work on checking credit, building resumes, and much more! We saw the teen hangout space, one of the classrooms, and a salon.
Our team was touched by the sense of home that existed in Laura’s Home and that we got to be a part of residents’ day there. We connected with ladies and played with their kids. We worked and laughed and listened.