For several weeks my middle school Faith students have been asking during prayer time to pray for ‘Awesome Avery’ who is fighting brain cancer. She plays on the same soccer team with several of our 6th graders and is family friends with several of our Hope Lutheran School families.
After praying for her one morning, a few of the middle school students came up with a plan to make origami paper cranes. Avery has been receiving origami paper cranes due to a traditional Japanese proverb that says that if you fold 1000 paper cranes, you may make a wish. The crane, a mystical creature believed to live for a 1000 years, has also become a symbol of hope and healing during challenging times and also represents good fortune and longevity and are given as gifts to those that are dealing with illness.
I shared the plan with all of my Faith classes and talked to them about this being a way we can live out our “Loved2Love” theme based on 1 John 4:10-11. We talked about how we can show Avery love by praying, making paper cranes and writing encouraging notes for her.
We learned how to make origami cranes in class and it wasn’t easy. I kept reminding the classes that what Avery was experiencing was surely harder than making the cranes. Within days, Hope Faith class was a paper crane factory. Students showed up with them in the mornings and parents were sending in origami paper because we kept running out. We kept an ongoing total on the board of “Cranes for Awesome Avery”. Before we knew it, we had made 1,500 cranes. It was astounding!!
A few students from each class came with me to deliver the cranes. Avery was not feeling well, but she took the time to show the girls her room and to take a picture with them. She was so grateful for the 1,500 cranes our middle school made and felt so loved reading the messages of hope.