Each summer, a local group of volunteers come together to provide a day out on Lake Hartwell for the children of Calvary Home. This group combines their passion for watersports, Jesus, and children, to create an awesome day of fun and memories. One of the things I admire most about this group of volunteers is their ability to gently push children off the dock.
Meet Havana. Havana has been at Calvary Home almost a year. She is a reserved middle-schooler who struggles with fear. One of her top fears is lake water. Something about not being able to touch the bottom and being in a body of water with all the fish causes her anxiety. She's been out on the lake in a boat once before, but she was too afraid to get in. Havana was determined that she was not going to get in that water. Havana can be stubborn, but she met her match in a volunteer named Sarah. Sarah was not going to let Havana stay in the boat without a fight. Gently, all morning long Sarah encouraged Havana to take baby steps. Eventually, Havana worked up the courage to try out the three-person tube with two other girls, Kaitlyn and Kailey. With Havana in the middle, she felt confident that she wouldn't fall off and land in the water. Havana loved every minute of the tubing. You could tell just by the huge smile on her face. As the morning went on, Sarah was able to talk Havana into jumping into the lake for a swim, and eventually to try out the Zup Board. Havana never tried wake-boarding or water-skiing like the rest of the children, but perhaps in some ways, she accomplished more that day than the other children did. Havana chose to trust her life jacket and the adults she was with. She got out off the dock.
Our prayer at Calvary Home is that Havana and the other children, would learn to trust God with their fears. Foster children face many scary things in life, and apart from Christ the fear could be crippling. May staff and children alike learn to put our trust in God and get off the dock.