Ever since our trip to Leaves and Lizards last year I've been toying around with the idea of starting a girls' group- a special time for the older girls in the tutoring center. I wanted to create a time where the girls could be kids instead of mini-moms, a time where we could talk about the decisions and pressures they're facing, a time where I could pour into them letting them know how truly special they are. In Costa Rica 7th-12th grade are all part of high school. As most individuals take longer than 6 years to complete those grades, it is quite common to have 12 year olds and 21 year olds on the same campus. As you can imagine this can lead to all kinds of problems, especially with young girls being swept up by much older guys. Sadly this is not at all uncommon.
As I look at my older girls at the Tutoring Center, I want them to be able to go into high school with not only the educational tools they need to succeed, but also to be grounded in who they are in Christ. I want them to realize they have a community of people here to support them and go to when they need help.
This last week was our first club. I brought in fresh flowers and special coffee mugs from my house to make the Tutoring Center feel more homey. Erin made delicious chocolate, chocolate cookies. The girls were super excited! A couple girls couldn't come this week because of things going on at school, but we decided to start anyway. I often let myself get so caught up in creating the perfect situation where everyone can attended, that we never end up having the said event. I didn't want that to happen with the girls' group. I'm still don't know how everything is going to unfold, but that's okay. On Friday I realized the most important things about this group is just spending time with the girls and listening to them. After our club time officially ended, I was waiting for Jeff Dixon and visitors to come by and ended up spending nearly another 2 hours just hanging out with the girls, talking about what life was like in their neighborhood. In some ways this time may have been even more impactful than our morning of playing games, eating cookies, and decorating journals. I pray that God will use all our time together to build into these girls in order that they will know just how special they really are.
The invitation for the girls.
Coffee and Cookie Time! Erin Janzen is helping with the Girl Group, which is a huge blessing.
Decorating journals. (L to R) Erin, Alicia, Hazel, and Catalina
Clearing the Way for the Lord
4 weeks ago