There is something bigger at work here at HOPe. A few weeks ago, on a Friday afternoon, I was sitting in my office when I got a call from our Best Buddies coordinator. She tells me that she has three girls in her office that are traveling the country for Best Buddies and they want to come see HOPe because they had heard great things about it. The girls partnered with Best Buddies, an international non-profit dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, in their efforts to travel across the country to promote social acceptance. The tour was called “Spread the word to end the word,” - the word "retarded". They traveled 35 states in 78 days. I said, send them over. I had no idea what was in store for HOPe that weekend!
Sam, K and Sarah are three of the most amazing young ladies I have ever met. The girls stopped by HOPe as planned and met everyone, explained their mission and interviewed some of our clients. The girls were asking about the children’s program and I explained that the kids would be in the following Saturday so they asked if they could come back and volunteer. I was thrilled. Then Paula, the girls and myself were hanging out in Paula’s office chatting and somehow the wall of HOPe came up. We were telling them how we always wanted a quote wall and how cool that would be to have all the kid’s sayings up on the wall. Right before the girls left, one of the girls said, K loves to paint and she is really good. I looked at K and she smiled and said, I would love to paint that quote wall for you, it is actually on my bucket list. K had always wanted to paint a mural for a non-profit organization. We printed the list of sayings and quotes that the clients and staff at HOPe say on a weekly basis. It was a good thing Paula kept a running list of great quotes on her computer, entitled HOPeisms.
So our buddies, K, Sam & Sarah stayed at HOPe Saturday and Sunday creating the wall of HOPe. They painted, laughed, met some of HOPe’s coolest kids and had a blast. The girls not only left their mark on the wall upstairs but they left an imprint on all of our hearts. It is amazing to see God at work in the human heart. We suddenly see the best in people and the good in the world. The girls’ journey was a mission, just like HOPe is a mission. It is amazing how the God in you can touch the God in me. It is things like this that open my eyes and show me what life is really all about.