I’m pretty good at losing listeners in a casual conversation. Actually, I’m really good at it. Want to know my secret?
I like to talk about poor kids in New Mexico.
“Well, Ash,” you could say, “that’s not exactly a fun, party-time topic. Maybe you could stick to small talk…or you know…just talk about your own kids.”
And it’s certainly easier to do that. It’s easier to talk about, think about, worry about, and invest in my own kids. Just my own. After all, I have relative control over them, their environment, their health, and a myriad of other things. I don’t have control over anyone else’s. What can I do for them anyway? Why discuss something that seems outside of my reach?
Over the past 5 years or so, I’ve come to befriend some people who do have influence in other children’s lives. They control their environment for large parts of the day and work to advocate for their mental, emotional, and physical health. They invest large amounts of themselves into personally seeing to these kids’ academic success. Who are these amazing people?
As I have often said, a large portion of our community’s future sits inside the classrooms of our local public schools. In New Mexico, a great percentage of those children come to school with significant issues, ranging from food insecurity to neglect and abuse. These are complex problems that we are not necessarily equipped to fix ourselves. However, we know some people who are working hard to move these kids forward…to help them dream and reach and grow. We know some people who are providing the security and support they desperately need, even if it is for only 6 hours a day. We know some people who are impacting their futures with every lesson they teach.
We can support them.
Usually, we can bring our teachers cookies, help in their classrooms, give them hugs, listen to them, and share meals with them. Right now, none of that is possible. They are still trying to do the monumental tasks listed above…but through a computer screen. Obviously, this is even more challenging, and quite a bit more discouraging. They need our encouragement and support more than ever. What can we do?
- Don’t underestimate how massively your prayer impacts our community.
- Email an encouraging note to a teacher you may know. If you don’t know any, contact me and I’ll send you contact info for one. If you want it to go to all teachers at our Shine school, send it to Jordan, the secretary, at email@example.com
- Consider signing up to do read-alouds using Screencastify for our librarian or a teacher. It saves them loads of time.
- Many teachers and staff members are still working at school in order to take advantage of reliable internet. Drop off some goodies at the front door of the school, then call to tell them the goodies are there. 505-281-0880
These actions seem small, but it makes a massive difference in the life of a teacher to know he or she is seen, appreciated, and supported.
Please consider ways in which you can lend support to the teachers who are investing in and serving “the least of these”. Though it would be easier to focus only on our own issues at home (and don’t get me wrong…we’ve got them!), we are called to a higher purpose…to consider others as better than ourselves. It may cost some time and comfort; but if we believe that Jesus is who He says He is, the chance to sacrifice for His sake is always worth it.
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” - Phil. 2:3-4
“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink? And when did we see you a stranger, and invite you in, or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison, and come to you? The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” - Matthew 25:37-40