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Izzy’s Morning Glory Story

by Elizabeth (Izzy) Mason

     Two weeks after my third trip to Morning Glory and I am still processing all of the amazing things that happened. Getting on the plane home required a strength I wasn’t even sure I possessed, and it was hands down one of the most difficult things I have ever done. It’s hard to explain Morning Glory in words, let alone into one long flowing story. Morning Glory’s Story is comprised of so many chapters and paragraphs and sentences from so many authors, and I have been so blessed to get to be a part of that.

When Words Fail

      Before my first trip to Morning Glory, I was worried that my lack of Spanish was going to make it impossible for me to connect with the children and staff. After this trip, my Spanish is a little better, but I now know that words aren’t everything. Not even close. There is so much more to connecting than just the words that you speak. Most of the connection comes from how you make them feel.
I spent a lot of hours in bible class during the last month I was there. I hadn’t spent much time there in my previous trips, and I now wish that I had.  I learned really quickly that I had found the one place where my serious lack of Spanish wasn’t even an issue.
The students can feel the love of God without always understanding the words. I know because I now know some songs in Spanish better than I know them in English, and I could feel the songs even if I couldn’t understand some of the words. The students don’t always understand what some group members are saying to them, or what the words to their prayers are, but here’s what they do know: There are people praying for them. Someone is hugging them and focused on them and loving them. Portraying the love of God is just as much about actions as it is about words, and usually more so.  “Dear children, let us love not with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18 (NIV)

God Versus Stubbornness

When I’m at home working in schools, I have this habit of focusing solely on the littlest kids in Pre-K through maybe 4th grade.  I have always had the hardest time connecting to older students, especially the ones in middle school grades. Apparently, God needed me to change that. I’ve always heard that I shouldn’t tell God what I’m not going to do because He will laugh and make me do exactly that.  Well, it’s true.  I fell in love with students that were well outside my comfort zone, and I know God had a lot to do with that. He filled my heart with more joy and love than I could have ever imagined.
I wasn’t sure how to build relationships with older students. The little ones are cute and eager to please and fairly understanding when you mess up on Spanish. They’re content with being pushed on the swing. The older ones are a challenge for me, but they are in need of just as much love and attention as the younger ones and sometimes even more. Fortunately, God helped me out with this and I definitely needed A LOT of help. I wasn’t perfect at it. I struggled and at first. I spent quite a bit of time wondering why He needed me to do this. I was stubborn and more than a little bit resistant, but I slowly learned to just roll with it because I knew there was reason He was not-so-gently nudging me down this particular path. I won’t ever be perfect, but over the course of this summer I have learned that I don’t have to be because God will always amplify the good and fill in for the things I lack. He’s here for all of the people at Morning Glory, and you can see it in the children.

I loved every minute of my time at Morning Glory. Even the early mornings, and I am about as far from a morning person as you can get. Morning Glory, and all of its authors, makes you want to get up and be there.