I am the walls that hold up an Acres of Hope family cottage. I have seen many families pass through my refuge over the last few years. Each of them came to dwell inside of my safety, and I watched as they built their lives. It is so special being the walls because you get to see a mother change from fear to faith, and watch a child go from hiding to being seen.
It is a precious moment watching as a mother turns the key inside my lock for the first time. The look on her face when she closes the door, and her children settle into their own little beds, is priceless. Some of the children scream in the middle of the night, from the nightmares they hold, as their mother comes close to them to reassure them they are safe now. I have watched many mothers pull their children’s bed close to their own, and I have seen little boys and little girls jump in their mother’s bed to find security and safety in her arms. It is so amazing to watch the moments however, when that same child will go rest in his or her own bed. Even more so is the moment when the child begins to feel complete safety and drags the bed away from mom’s, because he or she is ready to try steps of independence.
There have been many drawings crafted upon my paint, as children tend to think Crayola was meant for me instead of paper. Yet, when I looked a bit closer to see what was being crafted I have realized they were pictures of a child’s smiling face, from a child who use to weep all the time. There is a picture of a family together, from a child who use to be in foster care but now is reunited to his mom. Instead of toys thrown all around, there is a neat pile of books at a rocking chair, where a mother was reading her children a story. There are puzzle pieces scattered on a table where a family sat connecting.
Being the walls of a family cottage at Acres of Hope has allowed me to see that lives really can change. I have seen the tears of a mother when she whispered into the night, “I am loved.” I have seen the laughter of a family over a game of who can find the shoe. I have watched a skinned knee turn into a game of tickles and kisses with laughter that shines like sunlight entering the window at morning. As each family eventually graduates from Acres of Hope their legacy of fingerprints is held beneath the fresh coat of paint that acts as a new canvas for an incoming family. It’s amazing the legacy of families held in the layers of my existence.
My hope is that more walls will get to experience the transformation of families that I have seen. I know there is a waiting list for families who are seeking the refuge and hope that walls like me can offer. I hope you will help us here at Acres of Hope to give the families who need the stability of coming to live here on campus a real chance at transforming their lives.
Some walls are built so other walls can be torn down. I am the physical walls of hope that offers refuge to Acres of Hope families so they can have the safety and comfort to trust that they can tear down the emotional walls that have restricted their lives from becoming all they can be.
Will you help us provide more walls of refuge for families to grow?
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