Father Lance W. Harlow
The girl who made me cry.
On June 8, 2019, twenty-one of your kids graduated from the Kurn Hattin Homes for Children. I am calling them "your" kids. They were able to graduate because of you--your financial donations made not only their education possible, but also their room and board at the children's home.
For all of them it was a very emotional day. And for us adults, as well! The girl who gave the salutatorian address explained how she had lived at Kurn Hattin for seven years. This had truly been a home for her and her young classmates.
During their time at Kurn Hattin, these children have been well-fed and well-cared for. Coming from families struggling with poverty, drug addiction, homelessness, incarceration and a variety of other social problems, this charitable institution has literally been a life-saver for them. You faithful donors have really saved lives--and you should be proud of it!
But it was not just a day for the graduates. The other children at the Homes were watching their older brothers and sisters leave them. For so many of these kids who suffer from separation anxiety, it was a traumatic day. Their older "siblings" with whom they had spent the past year or several years, were now leaving them, and that's scary when you're little.
During the awarding of the diplomas, I heard noises behind me and was getting a little irritated thinking that some of the kids in the band (with whom I was playing) were fooling around and not being serious. How wrong I was. The little girl sitting right behind me was sobbing because her friends were leaving her. The girl beside her was trying her best to console her and not make noise during the ceremony. She rubbed her back and offered her Kleenex between the choked sobs and tears streaming down her face.
It was breaking my heart and brought tears to my eyes, as well. It was a happy day tinged with the reality of life's losses. These children have learned at a very young age a lot about suffering. I hope that their time at Kurn Hattin has made them resilient and resourceful. I know that you, our donors, give them hope every day. Even though they may not know you by name, they know that their clothes have come from somebody, their musical instruments have been purchased by a donor, their housing has been the result of fundraising and that good people--like you--love them.
Thank you for remembering the boys and girls at Kurn Hattin. Pray for the 8th Graders who have just graduated that they will transition well into this next phase of their lives.
Pray also for the little girl who made me cry that her tears may be turned into joy once again and that her fear of separation will be healed by your care for her.