Helping Hands

Sat. August 17, 2013

Today was awesome. While the jet lag is killing us, dead tired by 4:00 pm and can’t sleep after 2:00 am, we still wanted to go with the Elders and Branch members to do a service project at a local shelter for tiny children up to 17 years who have been abused and taken from their homes. We wore the “Mormons – Helping Hands”Image cover-ups and we worked on clearing a large spot for a garden.

It was so fun and lots of hard work, turning over the red ground, clearing the weeds and preparing grow areas. The leaders brought limited stuff to work with, but whatever they could round up we used.  I took a picture of one of their shovels (it had a sock wrapped around where the handle was supposed to be)Image they also brought some onions, squash, and spinach that we needed to plant.Everyone was so happy to be there together helping out. I really believe these are the happiest people in the whole world. Their smiles are about as big as their laughs. It was nice to feel like we belonged.

As we worked, some of the older boys from the shelter watched for a while and then wanted to help. ImageMost of the children were barefoot. We gave them some tools and showed them what to do.   It made Mom nervous to see the boys working with picks and shovels and no shoes but she didn’t say anything (aren’t you proud Trent?)

Image As we noticed them and told them how great they were doing, their smiles went from ear to ear. We met lots of people. It was a great way to get started getting to know everyone. Mom, of course was working, watching and making friends … lots of friends.  A little boy sitting over by the side of the garden, sat with his head down, but interested. Mom said to me, “I need to go over, sit down and talk to that little boy.”  She got someone to introduce her to 11-year-old “Willy”.

Image   Mom sat and talked to him for a while.  She told him she needed a picture of his beautiful smile.  As I took a picture of him and Mom, his eyes lit up and an even bigger smile came across his face.  A little love and attention brought him to life.  I noticed he kept quite close to Mom after their little chat.

On the wayout to the car, a few little kids come running. They just wanted a love and someone to notice them.   Mom and I knelt down to look into their sweet little faces and to give them hugs. The more kids we hugged, the more that came running. Running from everywhere. One tiny 5-year girl kept saying something to Mom.  Mom couldn’t understand what she was saying but Mom looked at her and said, “I love you” the little girl smiled and hugged Mom and laid her head on Mom’s shoulder.  High fives, lots of hanging on to our legs and the looks in their eyes saying “Do you care” brought tears to our eyes as we walked away.  Mom said she felt her heart would break.Image

If you haven’t given each one of your kids a hug today, do so now and tell them how much you love them. Tell them how much we love them, and tell them that Our Father in Heaven cares and loves them as well.Image

For sure a day to remember!!!

We finished off the day at the grocery store in the mall to help us get settled. I think we are pretty close at getting the things we need.  We best go for now.

We love you – -Elder & Sister Harward

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One Response to Helping Hands

  1. Nick says:

    This post choked me up! It made me think of all the grandkids and how much they love you both! You are both doing such a great work and I’m sure they felt our Heavenly Father’s love as you spent the day with them. As I read the part about the sock wrapped around the shovel I couldn’t help but laugh to myself and think of the gardening hoe and other yard tools that you both have used throughout the years. I guess we all have our tools of choice. Keep up the hard work!

    Love, Nick

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