January 2014 Support Update
“You know Tre*, sometimes the things that you say just remind me of my little brother.”
“You have brothers Miss?”
“Yupp! Want to see?” I flipped through my Facebook on my phone to find a picture of my brothers, my mom, and I standing outside at my high school graduation.
“Wow… You don’t look anything like your mom!”
“I get that a lot… I think it has something to do with the fact that she’s tiny and blonde… and well, I’m tall and brown.” I said as I laughed and put my phone down on the table.
My student sighed and stared thoughtfully at my phone. “People say I look a lot like my dad… Want to see a picture?”
“Sure,” I said as he put his hand out for my iPhone. I watched him type in his dad’s name into Google and I expected for his Facebook page to pop up. Instead, the first link that came up was a decade old news article. He tapped on it with his finger and the story opened.
Man sentenced to 15 years for aggravated assault and robbery
Below that headline was a mug shot of a man that undoubtedly was the father of the teenage boy sitting in front of me. “See Miss, we almost look like twins. Well, except that he’s way older obviously.”
“That’s crazy…” I said as I smiled at him, watched him close out of the news story, and place my phone back on my desk.
Yes, their resemblance was uncanny, but for a split second, this emotionally closed off student had let me into his world… and his world was heart breaking. This boy is only 14 years old… and if I did my math correctly based off of the date of that news article, it meant that his dad hadn’t been there for at least the last 8 years of his life.
Suddenly everything about Tre came into focus– the way he acted out for attention in classes, his flippant attitude toward God and adults (particularly adult men), and the way he simply didn’t seem to understand how to be a young man.
Of course he didn’t understand how to be a man; he likely hasn’t ever had a male role model! And no duh he is resistant to God– The only “father” he has ever known hasn’t been around to care for him or act like a real father.
Unfortunately, Tre’s situation is more the norm than the deviation at the Street School. The majority of our students have never met their fathers, if they even know who their fathers are…
So trying to show them “God the Father” is a difficult task; but it’s moments like the ones that happened that Thursday morning that make all of this rough work worth it.
I know that God is using little moments like those to build relationships with my kids that will eventually lead to conversations about Himself and His love.
Please continue to pray for all of my coworkers and I as we continue to try to show our Father’s love to our broken, hurting students.
Pray for our students that they might be able to fully experience God and understand that while their earthly fathers may kinda suck, that we have a heavenly Father who loves us and will never leave us.
Thank you to those of you that were faithful prayer warriors for me throughout my first semester. Your prayers truly are making a difference! (And I would love to grab coffee with you and chat more about this if you’re in the Denver area or Skype you if you’re not!)
And for those of you who have financially supported me on this venture, I cannot say “Thank you” enough, seriously!!! I have watched God multiply funds in my life in ways that I legitimately didn’t think possible. The fact that I have heat in my house (and a house to heat…) during this cold month is all thanks to you. I am currently 50% funded for my salary for the school year! (Woot!) Your support is so appreciated!!!
If you are interested in supporting my mission work here at the Denver Street School, check out the side bar (that way –>) for more information on how to give online or by check.
I hope your Christmas and New Years celebrations were smashing!
Blessings and wishes for a rockin’ 2014 from Denver,
*Name has been changed to protect student’s identity.