Friday, October 05, 2007

Souder


Yes...my baby girl turned one last week and I still haven't blogged about it, but I have something that is weighing heavy on my heart that I would like you to pray for.

This is my third year at Souder Elementary. It is a good school with a great staff. You don't teach at Souder just for the heck of it. You have to have a special place in your heart to teach for a school like Souder. The kids are VERY low socio-ecomomic and come from families that you wouldn't wish upon your worst enemy. Our kids deal with things that I can't even begin to know how to handle. The worst part is; that's the norm for our children. They have little to no knowledge of the world outside of Everman. Their goals in life are simple. Many only hope to make it to or through high school. You only stay here because you want so badly to show these young children a different life and to make them know that it IS possible for them to change their worlds. I say this to begin to describe our staff. We have a very high turnover rate...you either stay forever or leave after the first year. Needless to say, the beginning of a new year brings with it many new faces, but no matter who you work with, they become family. Everyone's blood, sweat and tears go into these kids lives.

It would be an understatement to say we have had a rough start this year! We have been repeatedly rocked to the core. I feel the devil clawing at this staff and these students! It all started with the end of last year. We lost a second grader to brain cancer. Why? How do you explain to second grade babies that one of their friends, a beautiful girl who they asked about all year and encouraged through chemo, lost her life to this terrible and traumatic disease? You can't. You only hope that they find comfort and healing in your daily actions. You pray nightly that God speaks to them through you. We dedicated a reading corner in the library to our young, lost Souder Bulldog. (There is a rocking chair with a plaque and one of her favorite stuffed bears her classmates gave her while she was going through chemo).

We made a strong effort to start this year off with a positive outlook. Then, on September 5th only two weeks into the school year, our school was blindsided again. Mrs. Cooper's (one of my fourth grade teammates) husband died suddenly and unexpectedly. He was 45 and one of the msot healthy men I have ever met. He died of heart failure while working out. They had only been married two years. Earlier that very day, Mrs. Cooper told us at lunch that "God had her wait 44 years for her best friend to come along, but she was so thankful that He sent her prince charming when he did. " At the same time, her dad was in hospice for bone cancer and was given only days to survive. She told us that "God sent Larry to take care of her when her first love of her life passed away (her daddy)." Her dad passed away two days later. Why was she asked to experience the loss of the two men she loved more than anyone in this world only days apart?

Yesterday, the devil's hate was back! He didn't want the numbing pain to completely disappear before he struck again. Two Forest Hill Police officers arrived on campus to inform our principal that one of our special ed teachers was found dead at her home. She overdosed on her prescription medicine. She had a lot of medical and personal issues and the pain became too great to bare. Why? Why do people become so lost in pain and grief that they feel their only way out is to take their life?

I know that God has HIS hands around our school right now, but the pain is still so great! Please pray for our school, for its staff, its students and the administration. Pray that we find comfort and peace in knowing that God is standing beside us every step of the way. Pray for the teachers and students that don't have a relationship with God and who are having to face these tragic times alone and lost in pain. Pray that God will heal this faculty and their wounded hearts. Please pray for all the families that have been affected by these tragedies.

I am so thankful that I have family and friends who I could lay such a heavy burden on and find comfort in the fact that so many will take time to pray for Souder. May the Lord bless you and your families.

15 comments:

tmcham said...

I am so sorry to hear of all of these deaths - especially that they have all affected so many within your school. I will definately keep them in my prayers and have the church pray for all of you, as well.

Love you!

campers said...

wow...my hormones have kicked in! I will put all of you bulldogs on our prayer list! They are so lucky to have such a prayer warrior on their campus! love u

andydawn said...

WOW!! I will be praying for you and your Souder family.

Finally an Abrigg..... said...

oh my gosh!!!!!!!!! you are a blessing at that school! i am praying for HIS HAND to reign over Souder!!

Patrick and Jessica said...

Patrick and I will be praying! God definitely has you there for a purpose, and we will pray for His work to be done there. God's strength shines through the greatest in our times of weakness. We love you guys!

Charis said...

Ally, what a rough start to the school year. You and your school will definitely be in my prayers. I know that God will reveal to you his comfort and wisdom in knowing what you can say/do to help those around you who are hurting. Thanks for sharing!

the thorntons said...

Souder is blessed to have YOU, and I know that you make a huge difference in the lives of those children...even if it's hard to see right away. My heart is heavy for the staff and students at your school, and I am praying for ALL of you!

annalee said...

praying for God's comfort and guidance and protection over your school.

mamao-nonna said...

You know that WE will be praying for God's Healing and Loving Hand to surround you and ALL of those precious students and faculty at Souder and the sweet families that are also hurting from each trying situation.
The pain is sometimes so difficult, but always know that the Lord has a plan and we are ALL important to him! We love you!

Rick & Shara said...

Hey Ally,
I know that we already talked about this on the phone, but I had not gotten the chance to read until now and I have tears in my eyes. All teachers know how much your school family means and my heart aches with Souder right now. You will definitely be in my prayers. I agree with Thomp that they are so blessed to have someone like you there to help uplift them and remind them that we are all living for something much bigger in our lives. Stay strong and continue to show them your heart for the Lord! I love you tons.

Jodi said...

Wow... I am so sorry to hear what a rough time your faculty is being faced with. I know what it is like to have a group of coworkers that feel like family, so I am so glad to know that YOU are a part of that and showing God's love to them! You're all in my thoughts and prayers....

Kristen said...

I will be praying for your school and that situation!

Kristen said...

I will be praying for your school and that situation!

Laura said...

Oh Mav, you and your school are in my prayers. Life is so wonderfully hard I've decided,but your blog just brought tears to my eyes. Life is so hard! But it is still the best show in town!

DeneƩ said...

I am praying for you and Souder! You are such a strong person and a great leader, I know you are making a difference everyday!!!