IT’S AMAZING how God will take our small “mustard seed” of service and use it to make a giant impact on the lives of these children and teens.
Liam was a disheveled and angry 4-year-old boy from a truly filthy trailer park off of Orange Blossom Trail. I got to know him when I would ride on the bus serving as a bus monitor. He was very responsive to my love, but he would become enraged when he was teased or bullied. I don’t mean just anger, but uncontrollable rage. Because he was in such need and so responsive to our love, we tried desperately to keep him from encounters that would “set him off.” Even with our best efforts, we couldn’t keep him from fighting. On one of those “bad” days, I called him over to let him know that he was going to be suspended.
Before I began to speak, I looked down at his feet and saw that he was wearing those water shoes that some people wear on a rocky beach. My heart broke. Here was this little boy that was teased mercilessly because of his appearance, and on top of that he had to wear these water shoes instead of normal shoes.
I just couldn’t suspend him. Instead, I made a visit to his trailer that week with a brand new pair of sneakers. He was so happy. The next week he proudly wore those shoes to church. He pulled me aside to ask how he could get a mark off that his brother had made with a permanent marker. I could see that he had already tried to scrub it off himself but was unable to.
As I helped him, I thought about those sneakers that only cost about fifteen dollars but meant the world to him. It took so little time and money to bless that child, to make God’s love known to little Liam in a tangible way.
-Isabel O’Driscoll, OCC Founder and Volunteer.