The rainy season has started in Israel. The rain comes down and begins to wash the grime, dust and stains, left from months of sitting under the hot Middle Eastern sun. There is a feeling of new beginnings and fresh starts, and hope for this rain brings with it the promise of new growth in the spring.

This year the first rain made me think of the Susan’s House teens.  They are brought to us by social workers, or through the hostels they are “crashing” at.  These teens have given up, they have left school, and do not see any future for themselves. They have spent so long believing they are worthless. When they walk into Susan’s House it is as if the first rains have started for them. As they are enveloped in the positive atmosphere at Susan’s House, and become a part of the team, they start to believe in themselves. They begin to learn and create, and are amazed at the work they can do. The teens meet customers who want to buy what they have made, and start to receive compliments from strangers. The self-doubt and negative perceptions of themselves are overtaken by pride, accomplishment and encouragement, and they can start to look towards a better future for themselves.

Their rainy season ends as they walk out the door, finished with their time at Susan’s House, ready for new beginnings, looking forward to where they are heading.