A Disturbing Reality

I was really shook up today when two kids ages 5 and 6 came to the rec center in Hillside court during our gathering looking for a free lunch…no mom…no older sibling.  Unfortunately,  they missed the free lunch by 10 minutes and I had no food.  I had to watch them head off into one of the most violent neighborhoods in Richmond hungry and alone. I am still troubled by the image of them turning the corner and me loosing sight of them.I thought about loading them up and taking them to McDonalds but thankfully realized that snatching kids up off the street was not such a good idea.

So what would you have done?  What do I do with that haunting image?

One thing I know is that I am going to stash some snacks in my car…that is the least I can do.  I thought about following them home but I have to admit that I am not comfortable walking alone in Hillside court.  Other suggestions?

Sad thing is that this is a common occurrence and it did not even phase my resident teammates. Last summer we saw the same four boys ranging in age from 2 to 5 in the streets every day all day and never saw a parent.  I hope I never look at babies wandering alone in the streets of any community and say “That’s normal” but I have to admit that it is all to common.  Please pray for these children and for their parents where ever they may be.

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4 Comments

Filed under Stories from the Street, Urban Ministry

4 responses to “A Disturbing Reality

  1. Karen Scherling

    Wendy,
    Strange…today I was quite moved by the kids getting breakfast at Fairfield. Kind of bitter sweet. Great the breakfast was available but no breakfast at home and/or a parent figure to prepare it. Seemed empty.

    FYI For years I’ve encouraged teachers, principals etc. to keep peanut butter, jelly and bread on hand. Maybe those packs of cracker would be good to keep in your car.

    I’m not sure it’s about not having food but about having someone who cares enough to feed you. People who have not been nurtured have a tough time nurturing. That’s why just food stamps and pantries are not enough. Relationships foster wholeness. Those kids and those responsible for them need to be nurtured. God’s love must be shown by human actions.

    • wmccaig

      “I’m not sure it’s about not having food but about having someone who cares enough to feed you.” Wow…that is powerful. So glad you are on our team. Next time will you follow them home with me and we can see if we can nurture mom so she will nurture those babies?

  2. Cheryl Emory

    Wendy, Your story touched my soul. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Cindy Neumann Isaacsen

    I have bought McDonald’s gift cards before and given them to homeless men. At least I know that they have to go to McDonald’s to use them. I never give cash because usually broke/homeless/jobless people have a difficult time knowing how to manage money and their priorities get confused. Here at the courthouse we had a boy brought in with the “transportation lady” and that’s all she would do is transport. So, I called over to the coffee shop across the way and had a sandwich delivered. He said he’d never had such a good sandwich ever. (It could be because he was very hungry.) Sometimes our system outweighs common sense. That is the most frustrating to me. God bless you and your continued work. You did the most you could for those kiddos, you brought their name in prayer to our Father above.

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