A M A R A, age 7
In a one-room apartment Amara spent much of her day alone. She longed to go to school as much as her mother dreamed it for her, but the promise sat upon a shelf neither could reach.
Amara's mother, and her grandmother before her worked nearby and from time to time, Madam came to the apartment with makeup and silken scarves offering to make Amara as beautiful as her mother. It both puzzled and angered Amara that her mother always refused.
She wanted to be beautiful, too.
Today, Amara and her mother live in a safe house where Amara has a bed of her own and her mother is learning a new trade. There are other children in the house and Amara can feel them pulling laughter up from somewhere deep inside her. They tell her it is called "joy".
She is learning about Jesus and her mother brings snow-dusted pastries from the bakery where she is learning and tucks them into Amara's school lunch bag.
But it is still so unfamiliar, scary, and strangely more lonely than being alone. Her mother too fights the discomfort and from time to time will say something that makes Amara think they will return.
As I restore this tiny tray, I pray for a cycle to be broken. I pray over the tiny seeds that are being planted in Amara and her mother's hearts. I pray that God strengthens them in their battle to fight the unfamiliar, that He breaks the bond of the generational cycle, and that He sends people and events into their lives that grow confidence, joy, security, and hope. I pray they find Jesus in the midst of it all.
This is Amara restored!