The first week at my internship is complete and I am already missing those "little lights." Little lights are what I affectionately call the elementary school students that I tutored during service-learning days at the beginning of this semester, prior to starting my internship.
(These service-learning days are built-in to the Washington Journalism Center semester in order that we, the participants of the program, get to encounter parts of this city other than just the federal Washington side).
What I was able to encounter were some hard working adults and some really sweet kids.
Steve and Mary Park, two of the hard working adults about which I am speaking, founded Little Lights Urban Ministries in order that urban children could receive some of the help they need, such as: tutoring, teachings about Christ and just a safe environment to go after school. For Steve and Mary, this organization is their life's ministry and requires a lot of hard work.
There are also other people who put effort into this ministry.
"We are a non-profit urban ministry dedicated to expressing the love of Christ to underserved children, youth, and families in Washington, DC, particularly at Potomac Gardens public housing in SE."
"Little Lights Urban Ministries empowers underserved youth and families in Washington, DC with the love of Christ. We seek to develop their God-given potential spiritually, socially, and intellectually through academics, life skills, the arts, and discipleship."
The kids that attend the programs at Little Lights Urban Ministries, as the quote says above, are children from a federally funded apartment complex. I heard, that in order to live here, the family's income has to be under eight-thousand dollars a year. Yikes. Though “underserved," these kids are no different from other children their age. Yes, they sometimes don't want to do their homework and no, they don't always listen when you tell them to do something, but that is normal for their age.
When I called home during my first two weeks in Washington, DC, all I could talk about were the “Little Lights” and the little ways that they lit up my heart. (Makes sense). But now, one week into my internship, the focus has shifted. However, I am still, and probably will be in the future, missin' those little lights.