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  • Friday, May 9, 2014

Mojo, Isabelle the cat, Mary and I had just returned from visiting our children and grandchildren in the Atlanta area. We were reflecting on the trip.

A major reason for going was to be present at grandson Griffin’s baptism. It was neat. He wore the same baptismal frock I wore seventy plus years ago.

Izzy and Mojo were still a bit miffed about not being able to stand up with us in the church during the baptism.

“You could have at least had the pastor acknowledge us,” Mojo lamented.

“After all we’re a big part of Griffin’s life.” “You bet,” Isabelle picked up.

“We were left listening at the door. Thank goodness we still have our hearing.

The pastor asked the parents questions and then before the actual baptism asked the congregation if they promised to help look after the child. We made our promise...... outside the door!”

“Okay, I apologize. I should have found a way to get you inside. I guess I was wondering if we could fit everybody in. If you were there, Jay and Mimi (our son and daughter-in-law) would have had to bring in Willie, the Newfoundland, and Maple, the cat, who are part of their family.”

“Okay, we forgive you. Let’s move on. Tell us about that student of yours you ran into and the children he helps.”

“While in Atlanta, I attended a church gathering and renewed contact with a former student. LIke myself, Robert is a Presbyterian minister. He took the promise to help children seriously, and started an organization called This Child Here which works with a children’s shelter providing food, housing and education to orphaned children who live on and under the street.

“This Child Here also has a street patrol which takes food and medical care to children who live under the streets, in abandoned buildings and parks.”

Mojo thought a minute. “I didn’t know there was living space under Atlanta.”

“Oh it’s not Atlanta. Robert is in this country for a short time. Soon he will return to where his organization works. The shelter and ministry is in Odessa, in the Ukraine.”

“Whoa,” Isabelle hissed. “Isn’t that where all that fighting is going on?”

“Yep”

“Why in the world does he want to go back there?”

“Well Izzy, he told me that he and his wife are going back to encourage the staff as they help social orphans in the midst of the conflict. They will also look for creative ways to foster reconciliation in that troubled country. He asked for our prayers. “

Mojo and Isabelle, I know that there are readers of the paper who are all over the map in terms of religious belief. I hope readers who are people who pray will add Robert to their prayer list.

And I hope that everyone, those who pray and those who don’t, will promise to help a child. Support organizations like MIss Ruby’s Kids, Teach My People, and the Tara Home for Boys. The Bunnell Foundation (843 237 1222) has a volunteer center.

Call and ask how you might help a child. Seek out the Early Learning Council, also accessed through Bunnell, to learn about child friendly public policy. Find out where candidates for office stand on those policies. There are so many opportunities to help children.”

“I guess we don’t have to be a part of a baptism or go to the Ukraine to help a child.” “You’ve got that right, Mojo.”

The Rev. Dr. Jim Watkins,

Mojo and Isabelle

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