I’ve come to expect a “traditional Christmas” of special meals and gift-sharing with family and friends. It’s what I’ve always known—and have come to take for granted. But spending a day with some special young people whose Christmas doesn’t quite fit the traditional image has helped give me a new perspective on my own blessings and the very different reality of many in our world.
My husband, daughter and I joined a Christmas party for some of the young clients of Gibault Children Services yesterday. The Indiana Knights of Columbus founded Gibault in 1921 and continue to support it. What started as a home for wayward boys has evolved through its history to meet the changing needs of troubled kids.
Today, Gibault serves boys and girls with mild emotional disturbances, aggressive and oppositional behaviors, substance abuse issues, victims and perpetrators of physical and sexual abuse, learning-disabled children and children with a variety of clinical issues in residential and detention environments at their main campus in Terre Haute, Indiana. Gibault also operates child care, after-school, Court Appointed Special Advocate, and foster care programs throughout the State of Indiana.
Opening and healing hearts
Sharing lunch and visiting with some residential clients of Gibault who, for various reasons, were unable to spend Christmas with their families, was a special way to spend our day. The young man with whom we had lunch was clearly happy at Gibault. While we were careful to not ask questions about the reason he’s there, it’s obvious he benefits from the care he receives.
I will keep my new young friend in prayer in the days and months ahead. He and the other young people served by Gibault have the potential for much brighter futures as a result of their time there. I pray that, when they return to their home environments, they will hold tight to the self-esteem, values and character they’ve gained. Please join me in praying for these young people—and offering support to this very important organization.
And join me, too, in appreciating the many blessings in our lives that we so often take for granted. Merry Christmas!