I, Loretta Newton, introduced you to Andrea, a single mom and her son Marty, and how I had been on a 4 year roller coaster ride with them.
I had described their home as dark, dirty, dingy and depressing, with stuff everywhere. At one time, they lived three months without electricity and water.
I described Marty as a dark, depressed unresponsive whipped boy. Hopelessness was a word that I used to describe their situation.
When I reflect on this four year journey I have to remind myself that all I am responsible for is planting seeds, and the harvesting I will leave up to God.
Andrea and Marty today: Marty comes to my house for a meal, help with homework, and often for some peace and quiet. He will call and say, ” Ms. Loretta can I come over and just hang out with you and Mr. Bob?
He knows that we are interested and care about him. He will call to report good grades, or something exciting that has happened, The other day he called and wanted me to guess what he had. It was a trumpet. He had been chosen to play in the band. He said “You know Ms Loretta the lining in the case is so soft I believe I could sleep there.”
Marty now takes great pride in keeping his room clean and neat. (Of course, he knows that I will be inspecting the room on a weekly basis and if is clean at the end of 30 days he earns $20.00. His room is often much, much cleaner than the rest of the house.
Only four of the original ten from my Sunday School class have remained somewhat faithful to Andrea and Marty. Some thought we are not making any headway, and some thought she was taking advantage and to some degree they were probably right. As I reflect, I must admit Andrea and Marty have taught me many things, to name a few:
* Unless we have walked in another’s shoes we should not judge, I cannot use my expectations as a measuring stick for Andrea.
*I must seek to understand before I can be understood
*I did not know anything about real poverty. How much we forget the simple things we have- like the clean, comfortable bed that Marty mentioned the time he spent a couple of nights with us.
*Before Andrea, I might have pass her by and remarked she needs to help herself. You know, she may not know how, and the children are left to suffer, and the cycle starts all over again.
*I have found out how truly blessed I have been and am today.
*I am trying to step back and be a friend to Andrea and Marty. I have to admit there are plenty of times I do not like Andrea, but Marty will always have a place in my heart, and he knows that.
Marty is constantly taking in how my world operates. One day he asked me if Mr. Bob and I ever fought, and I assured him that we had our disagreements, but we never stopped respecting and loving one another. Another day I was ironing and he said “Ms Loretta I now know why you always look so fresh and nice.”
Prologue until the rest of this story is written: Today, Marty greets me with a hug, and says “I love you Ms. Loretta.” And that makes all the frustrations worth the effort.
– Loretta Newton