Lily attends Scotia Glenville Campus Life. When we first met her, she was not comfortable being at Club. She sat in the corner, as far away as she possibly could from anyone in the room, covered in a puffy jacket which she had zipped all the way up to her eyes. She was hiding, and we didn’t know if she was going to feel comfortable letting us in.
That first day, we didn’t push her. We talked to her and made her a part of Club, but we didn’t ask her to participate, we just told her what we were doing and what to expect. We have a lot of fun at Club and we laugh a lot, and a few times, we heard her laugh, but when anyone looked at her, she would look down and would not meet their eyes. We let her be, because we wanted her to feel comfortable, whatever that looked like for her.
Lily came back the next week, and she came in and sat in the same place, but she didn’t have her coat pulled all the way up and when I asked her how her day was, she said “Okay” in a very quiet voice and smiled. We talked a little bit more and then when a few of the other leaders and some kids came over, she answered their questions and smiled at them too. When we sat around the table for the video and discussion, I told her what we were doing, and she came and sat at the table with us and laughed at the silly conversations that always seem to start when we get together. She didn’t interact much yet, but she wasn’t hiding anymore. When we broke off into groups to play cards, basketball or dodgeball, she went to the piano and started playing. She played a different type of music for whatever was happening in the room – when kids were laughing, she played high, happy notes and when the kids were frustrated at losing at their card game, she would play low, ominous notes, but she was smiling the whole time.
This past week, when she arrived at club, she came in and sat down and started talking to us, and walked over and got pizza (she would never do that before) and talked to us about how she loved certain things and how she taught herself a few different dance and gymnastics moves. She cheered on the kids who were playing basketball and dodgeball, and at the end of the night, when she was leaving, she waved and said “See you next week!”
It has only been 3 weeks and God has done incredible things in Lily with just the few hours that we have to spend with her. We absolutely cannot wait to see what He stands ready to do in the future for her!!
-Julie Cohen *Scotia-Glenville Campus Life Volunteer*
*Names have been changed