Debunking the Sticks and Stones Myth

We've all heard the saying, "Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" when someone was saying something ugly. This phrase is meant to be a deflection of some hurtful words. I remember saying this as a child. While that phrase may have temporarily soothed the pain, later on the words really did feel like a big rock slamming against my heart.

In early July we visited our little friends in Novosmolino. This time we met in a nearby park. The weather was beautiful, warm and sunny. This was a wonderful opportunity to give the children some time in the open air.

We played some sports games with the kids, focusing not only on physical competition, but also on memory and team building. The children were very excited and happy to play.

Next everyone enjoyed a picnic. While we ate, we talked to the children about the importance of the words we say each other, that they sometimes they can be destructive; sometimes they can burn like fire. One of the downsides of being an orphan is the lack of parental guidance with such things. Where you and I remember getting into trouble regularly for undesirable behavior and words, these children don't have that voice teaching them right from wrong words. They don't really have a clear concept of how to control their tongue. This was a great conversation for them in a comfortable, peaceful environment.

The discussion also served as bridge to how we can harm the environment by fire, littering etc. We also played the guitar and sang songs about good words we say each other and about friendship.
This visit I paid particular attention to Dima. When we talked about the words we say to each other, his facial expression was very thoughtful. He listened to every word. Many times before I noticed him being rude to his classmates. I think this discussion really touched his heart and his behavior will change to a stance of friendship with his classmates.

One volunteer who was actively involved was Sergey – he has a soul for children. He has participated in visits before. The last time he couldn’t visit the children in Novosmolino, but really wanted to. This time he found the time in spite of difficulties. He loves to play with children, is full of ideas, and never repeats them! When he is speaking all children listen very attentively, and so do their teachers! He loves God, and whatever he speaks about is saturated with love to God and people. Sergey is an integral part of this initiative and his contribution is priceless!