Relationships have always been on my mind.
Since I was a child, my own need for relationships was a major factor in my life. It was missing much of my childhood. When I interact with our children at the Emmaus Food Program, I see very similar needs in their lives.
They live in very difficult family situations. Some have two parents, some only have one. In each family, one or both parents are alcoholics or drug users. If family and peer group are the two greatest influences on their lives, then I would say that they have a bleak future waiting for them.
Emmaus provides a hot meal five days a week during the school year. The greater needs that Emmaus provides are spiritual direction, arts and crafts, sewing and knitting instruction, computer skills, and in general, a safe place to be after school.
Zoya manages these programs with a wonderful mothering heart. She loves the children and nurtures them, sometimes over a period of ten or eleven years. She has built great relationships with them. Unfortunately, she is locked into the limitations of that relationship. The children need other role models to look up to.
Recently, I published my first book, JC and Me, A Relationship, A Journey. You can find it at the AuthorHouse bookstore. Soon it will also be available to order from bookstores and other online websites. I have been thinking again about relationships and what I can share with the children during my talks that I have with them every second Friday.
This guided me to think about the children and another relationship that they are very much in need of understanding at this time in their life: sex. Mostly girls ages eleven to fourteen, they are ready to make big mistakes. So, I began a series of talks that will hopefully answer the questions that they are afraid to ask.
We began with looking at sex as a relationship, rather that something that is on a list of do’s and don’ts. I think that the girls were surprised, but I did have their full attention. They want answers, but don’t know what to ask. Sex is a subject that you just don’t talk about with adults, in their eyes.
I will be in America for two months, giving the girls a lot of time to think about this relationship. We will talk some more about it when I get back. I hope to influence their lives in very positive ways. Please pray for our children.