Little Girl, Big Heart
by Angela Sanders, Freelance Writer
“…Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45
A plainspoken champion of the underdog who wants nothing more than for everyone to “be nice,” eight-year-old Audrey has more than enough grit to keep everyone around her headed in the right direction. She’s grateful for the help and encouragement she and her family have received from the Children’s Hope program at Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC).
A nurturer by nature, Audrey has been a little side-tracked by her family’s struggles over the past few years, but now that everyone is settled for a while, she looks forward to school every day.
“I like to play with friends and learn,” Audrey explains. “When I go to school, I just look around for people who are alone, look nice and ask if they want to be friends. If they do, then we are. If they start not to be nice to my other friends, I tell them to please stop what they’re doing. I’ve only had one friend in my life who didn’t stop being rude when I asked. That’s pretty good, I think.”
“I’m at a seventh grade reading level,” Audrey continues, “So I read big chapter books. It takes a little longer, but I don’t mind. I like a challenge! I also moved up a level in math this year. They were going to put me in easy math, but then they realized I could do more.”
Audrey, her mother, and her two sisters came to live at OBHC about one year ago. “We came here because my mom wanted help handling us. Not too long ago, she had to go away for a year.” Afraid of being misunderstood, Audrey holds up a palm. “She was already good to us! She just needed help with something, so she got it, but she wanted to be back with us. My sister can be rude sometimes, and my mom gets upset. The staff here is helping them figure out how to stay calm and talk to each other and be nice. I think it’s helping my sister not be so rude and my mom to stay calm.”
When Audrey grows up, she would like to be a doctor. “I just want to be the person people go to when they need help,” Audrey says. “I like helping. I like sticking up for people, even people I don’t know. It feels good. Audrey continues, “Once I stop being a doctor, I want to be a teacher. I would help kids like my principal does and be supportive, and if my students didn’t have enough food and stuff, I would give them some and help them raise money for a new house and clothes.”
Audrey is glad she, her mother and sisters will be living at OBHC for a few more years. “I’m learning a lot about God, the Bible and the Holy Spirit here,” she explains. “I know Jesus died on the cross for us, so I think we need to be nice. He did it because He wanted to forgive our sins; He loves us. When someone sins, God loves us enough to tell us not to do it anymore. Some people do it anyway. It’s important not to follow people who do. I’m also learning God answers prayers, like when I pray for thankfulness, my heart feels really thankful all the next day.”
Audrey is particularly thankful for those whose financial gifts have eased her burden by giving her family somewhere they can learn and heal. “I would like to tell them ‘thank you’ for helping my mom and every other person here. I know I will be a good mom, for sure. I’ll love my kids and teach them to love God and be good. I won’t cuss, raise my voice or smack them.” Audrey says. “I wouldn’t do that anyway, but I bet some people would if they didn’t have this place. At OBHC, we learn how to be who God created us to be. Now we can grow up and be nice.”