“I don’t drink milk.”
That’s the way the conversation between a new 10-year-old boy at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch and Sarah Streitz, one of our Food Service Angels, started.
I was waiting my turn in the lunch line and Sarah was serving the day’s offering, a “taco in a bag,” one of the kids’ favorites. Sarah has been a Rancher for nearly 11 years. She has such a heart for the kids and works hard to package good nutrition in ways the kids will enjoy it. She knows every child by name as soon as they join us. She knows about allergies and preferences and tolerates all kinds of feedback about what to cook and not cook. The kids miss her when she has a day off. How does she do her job so well?
Her first response to the boy was simple, “That’s ok. You don’t have to drink milk. There is yogurt and cheese if you like.”
He just stood there, obviously trying to explain his point.
“No. I can’t. I am lactosed.”
Sarah cocked her head to the side, “You can’t eat milk products?”
“I can, but it doesn’t feel good. I drink no-milk milk.”
Sarah smiled, “Just a minute, buddy.” Mystery solved, she went into the large cooler and came back with a gallon of almond milk, ready to pour a glass.
But, the little guy said, “Nope, that’s yucky. I like the other milk.”
At that point, I think I may have directed him to the fruit juice, but Sarah is truly an angel with the children. “Do you know what the other milk is called?” she asked, intently focused on the boy.
“It says something about lactose and it is in a carton and it has blue polka dots and a picture of a cow.”
Sarah smiled, put both hands on her hips, and leaned forward a little, “Well, that’s exactly what I’ll look for in the store. I won’t promise they will have it, but I will certainly give it my best shot. I’ll also get some vanilla-flavored almond milk for you to try so you can see if you like it.”
Once again, as seems to happen nearly every day at the Ranch, my eyes got all watery. This little person, who has endured so much, spoke up for himself and was listened to and treated with respect. I swear, someday he will tell someone about feeling special when this lady in the lunch line stopped to listen to him about milk.
It takes each and every one of us. Thank God for Sarah.
Please keep our kids and staff in your prayers.
In His love,
Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
You can raise funds for your congregation, Bible study group, women's group, or youth group, AND provide hope and healing for a child at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, by hosting a Honey Sunday.
For decades, congregations across the United States have held Honey Sundays. We invite you to join them — and bring God’s love to a child by organizing a Honey Sunday fundraiser.
Honey Sunday keeps the focus on the work of our Lord, your church, and the Ranch. And we make it easy for you to do by sending everything you’ll need. We'll even mail the honey directly to people's homes, so you don't have to worry about distribution.
To request your Honey Sunday materials, fill out the form here!
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