11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Kate and I found this passage from Jeremiah inspirational. Leave alone the context for now and just focus on the words. We felt everyone deserved a hopeful future or at least the chance for one. Hope is a powerful thing and can accomplish almost anything.
Children without hope, or who cannot look beyond today, struggle to accomplish anything in their lives. They have to spend all their energy on surviving. Looking for food for the day, caring for a sick mom, or being abused occupies the space that hope would take. There is no looking forward to tomorrow because tomorrow brings more of the same pain and suffering. If you can break in with a little hope suddenly everything changes.
Next thing you know that child is planning to finish primary school and hopes to do well enough to get into a good high school. She might even be able to look beyond finishing high school to higher education or a decent job. This hopeful future is possible because space was created for hope in this child's life. Helping with food, medication, or paying school fees, frees her up to act beyond the moment. When you get a child to a place where she can dream of the future, well that is the sweet spot.
Most of us reading this take that situation for granted. Our biological children spend huge chunks of time thinking, planning and dreaming of the future. They have a safe environment where they do not have to worry about food, security, etc. The Kenyan children we took in also have that space to dream of the future, they are not as prolific in their dreaming as the others, but the fact that they can dream of the future at all is a huge accomplishment. Of course, they do have futures thanks to being in school, and for four of them now having finished school.
This little thing called hope is enough to bring about miracles in these children's lives.