This began as an entirely different update, although I suppose the underlying message remains the same.
When I first drafted this e-mail and uploaded this picture of Dom and I at the zoo on the first Friday of the school year, I intended to make light of the fact that the Lord has called me to yet another year of “bearing the burdens of Denver StreetSchool students”. (Even when that means physically carrying them when it’s 95 degrees out and they “can’t walk one more inch”. Heavens forbid he take off that hoodie… But I digress.) Instead, the draft of this e-mail you’re receiving tonight was written from a hospital waiting room yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.
My day began Tuesday morning with a voicemail from a distraught father explaining that his daughter, one of my former DSS students and the older sister of two of our current students, had been shot in rush hour traffic Monday night and wasn’t expected to make it. The “school day” ended Tuesday as I sat in a hospital waiting room with a few other staff members and a quarter of our students. We all held our breath and prayed for a miracle, but apparently the miracle that was supposed to happen looks differently than we were hoping it would. Ashyonte passed away that afternoon surrounded by her siblings and father as our non-biological-DSS-family sat just outside the ICU doors.
The somber silence that swept over our school throughout the day today proves that there aren’t words when things like this happen. There may be tears or screaming, but silence and the simple gift of presence often prevail.
I’m going to level with you, friend– I was already semi-questioning the Lord’s judgement in calling me to “lead”/ principal our high school. But now? Now I’m really at a loss of what to do other than to show up for my kids everyday. I don’t know what the *beep* the Lord is doing in all of this, but what I do know is that I’ve been incredibly encouraged over the last day and a half as I have watched my students rally to care for one another and witnessed you all show up to bear the burdens of my students and staff.
Thank you to those of you who have prayed, written notes, pledged to make meals for our students’ family, let me cry in your office, texted/ called to check in, donated to Ashyonte’s funeral GoFundMe page, or brought coffee to my teachers. Knowing that my students, staff, and I aren’t alone in this endeavor is a huge reassurance and a tangible reminder of the Goodness of God in an incredibly complex time.
Our hearts are broken for this family who has been a part of our larger Street School family since 2010 (especially as these kids just lost their mom to cancer three weeks before losing their sister…), but I firmly believe that the Lord can do miraculous things through this situation as my students learn to bear one another’s burdens and see the body of Christ bear their burdens as well.
Thank you to those of you who have faithfully partnered with DSS and sought to bring the Kingdom to Denver through our ministry over the last several years. If you are interested in further partnering with us, I have included a few opportunities to do so below and will continue to send out updatess periodically throughout the school year to share new opportunities and the ways the Lord is working all things for Good and His Glory.
But until then, would you please join us in lifting our students’ family up to the Father in prayer? They so desperately need Him. But who am I kidding? There’s not a single one of us who doesn’t need His tender Love and Mercy.
Thank you for standing with us in all things,
~Current ways to get involved at the East Campus of the Denver Street School~
Support Hearts Going Toward Wellness
In times like this I am reminded of how desperately our students need counseling and the intervention of Christ in their relationships and lives. The Hearts Going Toward Wellness conference is exactly that. Check out the video above to learn more.
We’re hoping to raise $7,500 to send 6 of Denver Street School students and 3 of our staff members to this conference in Port Alsworth, Alaska this upcoming February. If you’re interested in financially supporting our trip, you can donate online by clicking here.
Our Amazon wishlist
We have a short wishlist of school supplies, new technology, snacks, and gift cards for our advocacy program compiled on our Amazon account. Click here to support East Campus via a simple Amazon purchase. Just think, you can even have it shipped directly to us! Ah, the golden age of technology…
Support our snack room
East Campus is predominately made up of teenage boys this year. This means several things:
1) Our basketball team is gonna slay. #GoBulldogs
2) My kids are eating me out of house & home. If you’re interested in donating money/ non-perishable items to help stock our cabinets with healthy snacks, cereal, & sandwich ingredients to feed my hungry wolves, shoot me an e-mail at Kacy.Leyba@DenverStreetSchool.org or a text at 720-935-2154.