Beverly* had mixed emotions when ten year old Shandra* looked up at her and said, “You’re my best friend.”
When Bev and I spoke about it, she lamented, “It is just so sad; Shandra needs friends her own age.”
Shandra is a kid who stands out in a crowd of her peers and to them, it is as if she carries a sign that reads, “Pick on me.” She is sweet and talkative with a positive outlook on life, but she just doesn’t “fit in”. The subject of friends is conspicuously absent from the conversations between Beverly and Shandra. There is an aunt she loves, mom and grandma, but no friends to talk about. School is simply a lonely place for her.
But, Shandra has a best friend in Beverly… this child would otherwise have had no one in her life to crown with that title! An important title it is. While ultimately we want to see Shandra connecting to kids her own age, it will be in her times with Beverly that she’ll learn what it means to be a friend. Their match is an opportunity for Shandra to grow in confidence, cope with the rejection of others and be pointed to the Love God has for her. And prayerfully, as she learns those skills, grows in confidence, and trusts God, she will begin to make some new friends.
We’ve seen this happen many times before in Long Island Youth Mentoring, and it is such a blessing. The biggest blessing however is introducing kids like Shandra to the “Best Friend” that sticks closer than a brother. The friend who will never let her down, never leave her and certainly never pick on her, Jesus!
Pray with me that this year Shandra will find the New Life that is in Christ… her Truest Bestest Friend that she could ever have.
Thank you for continuing to stand with us in this ministry and for blessing children like Shandra with your prayers and finances. †
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