Little Lights Urban Ministries

2009 Spring Newsletter

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Little Lights Update Act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God. Volume 9, Issue 2 In this Issue • Letter from Steve • Program and Event Highlights • Student Voices: "If I Could Change Potomac Gardens" • Volunteer with Little Lights • Mentoring Program • Get Involved Upcoming Events • Little Lights Board of Directors • Teen-Intern Program • Kids Share About a Special Family Member Mark Your Calendars May 20: Last Day of Spring Programs (except Homework Club) May 26: Volunteer Appreciation Dinner June 13: Potomac Gardens/Little Lights Talent Show June 15: Last Day of Homework Club October: Annual Banquet & Silent Auction (Date & Time, TBD) Letter from Steve There are certainly times in urban ministry when one is tempted to give into cynicism. When I hear that a child has been suspended for fighting for the third time this year, or that children have shut down on their tutors because they are overwhelmed by reading or math, discouragement can set in. If I'm not careful, cynicism can begin to harden. "Nothing will ever change, why bother?", the little voice will say. 2009 his normal surroundings, as he had been wrestling with a recent family tragedy involving his father. Steve with his family (wife Mary and children, Kayla and Dylan) "Hope" and "change" are popular words these days, thanks to the many posters and stickers we see around town. Often, as we grow older, and come to grips with how little significant change there is around us and even inside of us, our hope turns into cynicism. As the saying goes - "the more things change, the more they stay the same". Spring That is part of the reason why prayer is so important to me. When I pray, I work on surrendering my need to fix or change others by myself. Changing lives is truly God's work. Prayer keeps my heart open to the positive and the possible, slows me down enough to see beauty in small, every day things, and renews my hope for change, even if it seems slow when compared to our fast-paced ways. When our hearts are softened by prayer, it's amazing how encouraging small victories can feel. I recently took one of the boys, Bryant, to a college ice-hockey game (The Frozen Four) with two tickets that had been donated. I was excited to see my alma mater, Boston University, and he was excited to just go out on the town. It was good for him to get out of On the day of the game, I picked Bryant up after Math Heroes, where he had just finished working with his tutor. We walked over to the Eastern Market Metro station and boarded the train. While we were en route to the Verizon Center, Bryant slid his laminated math flash-cards out of his binder and began to study. This was incredible! After going through a whole day of school, then attending our after-school Homework Club and math tutoring programs, he decided that he wanted to keep working and learning. I found out later that Bryant is one of the students in our programs who has progressed two grade levels in reading this year. I was profoundly touched. It gave me a deeper appreciation for our academic team and the numerous volunteers who have been part of Bryant's progress over the past three years. I felt so proud of Bryant's perseverance, even during this tough time in his life. If you get a chance, please say a prayer for Bryant and the other children at Little Lights today. And don't give up hope and give into cynicism, because a mustard seed of faith can move mountains.

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