“This is the way, Pioneer”

“Open your hands, child. Your ‘kids’ are not yours; they never were to begin with. Give them back to me. I’m the One who can, and will, take care of them.”

I’ve experienced my fair share of heartbreak over my Street School students, but leaving them to come to Alaska last fall felt like the thing that was going to rip my heart out all together.


At the end of last school year, Eli, the other English teacher, sat across from me and said the words I’d been thinking for months, but had been too afraid to verbalize.

“If I leave… and if you leave… Who is going to love these kids? They’re so hard sometimes… But I love them so much it hurts. Is it possible that someone else could love our girls the way we do? After all, they’ve become our girls… And they so desperately need to know that they’re loved.”

Those words echoed in my heart for months and shifted into fears over time. That fear gave way anxious tears that further distorted my vision. I began to see my students as far more fragile than they were and I stopped seeing Jesus as the powerful, risen Savior who came (and always comes) for God’s children in love.

I was afraid He would somehow abandon my students. Or worse, that my pre-Alaska goodbyes would become the last words I’d ever speak to them. After losing a student to gang violence last year, I was so scared that any goodbye could become permanent, and thus, I held my kids close.

So when Jesus called me to walk away from the job that had become my passion and the kids whom I saw myself as the protector of, I fought Him. Hard. But we all know how the story went… Ultimately (and albeit a bit begrudgingly) I hugged the students who held my heart and I got on a plane with their sweet, handwritten notes and gifts tucked in my pack.

God loves these kids more than I do. He won’t let anything happen to them that’s outside His will. He’s a Good, Good Father; His provision and providence puts my earthly mom-brain to shame. It will be okay. I prayed and pep talked myself all the way home on my last day of work and often over my first few months in Alaska. If I’m being honest, I still struggle to lay my DSS students at Jesus’ feet every time I see something worrisome on social media or wake up to see that I missed a call from them in the middle of the night.

At those times, the beautiful gift of my students’ continued relationship and trust, even 2,500 miles away, seems a bit like a blessing and a curse. But I cherish those random phone calls, even though my selfish heart breaks a little with each one as I wish I could offer them more than a simple prayer from the other side of a phone or computer.

Which begs the question: Why does prayer seem so insufficient to my momma-heart? Why do I believe that I could provide anything better than Jesus if I was physically present with them? I’ve wrestled with these questions as I’ve sat speechless, staring at Facebook messages and texts, wishing I could do something more than point them to Jesus in the middle of the night when their worlds are falling apart.

It was on one such night when I stumbled upon Annie Jones‘ “Oh, Pioneer: Song of the Unseen” while I texted back and forth with one of my old students. She writes,

“We are lampposts lighting the way for the lost and curious ones. Saying, ‘This is the way, Pioneer. The Good Life begins Here.’

This manna, falling from the sky as promise, is enough to satisfy our hungry lips. Mouths begging for more. Spirit breathing. There is plenty. How mystery sustains the most savage of a soul.

Come close to this, Pioneer.

Learn the language of your seeking, savage heart.

See what we are made for: breaking bread and drinking wine underneath stars with our Creator. A shared communion of enoughness. Giving thanks for our unknowing of the gentle way ahead, unfolding as we sing through momentary mystery. The Journey. There is nothing more spectacular to Belong to.”

Staring at the poem in front of me, I could hear Him, plain as day: This is what I’ve called you to. You are not your students’ protector or savior—I am. You are not the Light; you are simply a lamppost– a loving, encouraging voice along the way who can call into the darkness and say, “This way, fellow Pioneer. Come this way; it’s beautiful and Light on this path with Jesus.”

~

Nearly a year had passed since Eli and I sat starting at each other across her classroom table, wracked with the fear of the unknown for our girls. A few months had gone by since the winter night when I first read that poem. But not two days after I pulled it off the shelf to re-read it over spring break, a Facebook message between one of our former students, Eli, and I came across the screen of my phone:

“Hey guys. I decided I want to give my life to Christ but I need help. I really don’t know how to do this on my own.”

I blinked the tears out of my eyes and read the message at least five more times before letting out a weighted breath I didn’t even realize I’d been holding in for nine months.

“I told you I would take care of ‘your kids’. I love them more than you’ll ever be capable of. You can breathe and continue giving them back to Me.”

All too often my momma bear perspective skews my view of God and elevates my own power, protection, and love. But praise God for the moments when He reminds me that there is nothing that I do ever do to change or protect my students’ hearts; it’s Jesus’ love, His Spirit, His grace, and His acceptance that softens hearts, changes minds, and protects us all in the meantime.

May we as Christians, disciple-makers, teachers, parents, and momma-brained individuals learn to give the ones we love back to Jesus in prayer every day and instead call out the words of Annie Jones:

“It is this way, Beloved.

Here you will be found.

The search is over.

Hallelujah.”

~

“And I am sure of this, the He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ.”

(Philippians 1:6)

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To the ends of the earth…

Y’all—

Can I just say, I had no idea what God had in store when I agreed to move to Alaska…

I knew I was coming here to teach, mentor, and disciple somewhere between 5 to 10 Native Alaskan teenagers and young adults. I knew I would live with my girls and “mom the daylights outta ‘em” just as I’ve done with about every student I’ve ever had. And after many nights of freaking out and anxiously crying to my roommates in Denver, I knew I would love them (and hoped that they would learn to love me too…).

Now, let’s go over a few of the things I didn’t know I was in for: I didn’t know I would move here, end up in ground school with one of my students, and fall in love with flying. I didn’t know I would learn to love bush life more than city life. I had no idea the depths of loneliness that come with bush life, and conversely, the depth of relationship with God that occurs when you have nothing to distract your heart and mind. I didn’t know I would learn to butcher moose, end up volunteering in the local K-12 school, or that the Lord would transform my ministry from working exclusively with my Native TLC students to becoming a co-leader for both the Lake Clark Bible Church (LCBC) Cambodia teen mission team and the Outfitters for Christ (OFC) Thailand missions team. (Try saying that 5 times fast…Woof.)

But here I am—being called into what seems like the wildest season of God’s plan for my life yet… (Funny how He somehow one-upped Himself after moving me to a village.)

SelinaCambodia
One of my darling LCBC teens; they’re all so pumped about what God is doing!

On June 8th, I plan to board a plane with 13 LCBC high schoolers and we’ll be off for a whirlwind two weeks of teaching and sharing the Gospel in the predominately Buddhist, post-Khmer Rouge terrorized country of Cambodia. Our mission while in Cambodia will be to support local missionaries who have established churches, Christian schools, and orphanages in the last twenty years to bring the hope of Jesus to Cambodia. Our team will specifically be sharing the gospel while teaching English to school-age children and teenagers in both Christian and public schools. (For many, knowing English can be a skill that will later transform their lives, as English is rapidly becoming the trade language of most of Southeast Asia.)

On June 22nd, I’ll bid my LCBC teens farewell and board a plane to Thailand where I’ll meet up with a team of fellow Coloradoans—a beautiful mixture of Denver Street School alumni and Outfitters for Christ interns that I’ve had the honor to work with and disciple over the last few summers. Similar to what I’ll be doing in Cambodia, our DSS/OFC team will be teaching English in local orphanages, leading short vacation Bible schools for kiddos in smaller towns, and just generally serving the long-term “boots on the ground” missionaries that we are partnering with in whatever ways they need most.

My personal heart within the two larger missions for the month is simply to love on the people God places in front of me—fellow weary missionaries, house-moms, students, and orphans alike. After having served in a live-in ministry and discipleship setting for the last year here at TLC, I understand the need for a listening ear, a warm cup of tea, and a hug on a new level– and that is what I hope to provide for those in need of such a personal touch of Jesus’ love.

In addition to listening and loving, I’m excited to see how the Lord will transform the lives of the young people I’ve fallen in love with over the last several years—both here in Alaska and back in Colorado— as He pushes them to new depths of relationship with Himself, outside of their comfort zones and familiar settings.

I’ve been so richly blessed by your prayers and support as I’ve lived out Jesus’ calling on my life this year in Alaska. If I’m being honest, I’ve felt so overwhelmed by your generosity that I couldn’t imagine asking more of you, my wonderful community. But as I step out in faith, deeply knowing that the Lord is calling me to Southeast Asia for the month of June, I’m asking you to consider partnering with me, yet again, in this amazing opportunity to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. I need to raise a mere $800 per trip ($1,600 total) to cover my in- (and inter-) country costs for the month of June.

Would you please consider partnering with Jesus and I as we raise up and disciple future leaders of the church here in Alaska, back in Colorado, and across Southeast Asia?

As always, thank you for your partnership in spreading the Good News of our Sweet Jesus.

Your grateful sister,

Kacy Lou

If you’re interested in partnering with me as I head to Cambodia with some of my favorite Alaskan teens, donations can be made through Lake Clark Bible Church’s website and simply earmarked Cambodia – Leyba.

Or…

If you’re interested in partnering with me as I head to Thailand with my DSS alumni and OFC interns, donations can be made on the Outfitters for Christ website and earmarked Thailand – Leyba.

[If you have any questions about my work here in Alaska, or about either of these upcoming trips, I would love to talk to you! My e-mail is KacyLouLeyba@gmail.com; I’m generally fairly quick in response. (Unless our internet is out because of weather or other weird village flukes.)]

*All donations made through either website and earmarked appropriately will go directly to the support of our missions trips and will be receipted as tax-deductible for the 2016 tax year.

Current prayer requests as I head into this wild season with Jesus:

Please join me as I pray…

  • That both the LCBC teen missions team and our OFC team will be so enthralled with who Jesus is and what He has done for us that it overflows in the team unity and strength that can only be found in Him.
  • For a heart for God’s people, regardless of nationality, race, age, or geographic location, to be developed within my students.
  • That we will be able to create effective English lessons for kiddos ages 3 to 18 with love and energy.
  • That our teams will have strength and endurance through hot weather and long days of teaching (and within the hours of Alaskan/Cambodia Coloradoan/Thai teen bonding time in the evenings).
  • For all of the details (passports, visas, inter-state communication as the OFC team and I plan/train together long-distance) to come together, as I know only Jesus could do.

How do you decorate gang warfare for Christmas?

Last Christmas was a mess— a really dark, emotional mess.

On the morning of December 10th I made great plans to sweep the brokenness and messiness of holiday life under a rug, slap a tree on top of it all, and have a Merry-freaking-Christmas. My students and I were going to be happy and we were going to enjoy Christmas, dang it! (Can you see the crazy, plastered smile on my face? No? Just ask one of my DSS girls… I’m sure they can imitate it pretty well given how many times they’ve seen my crazy-teacher-eyes around the holidays over the years.)

The very same day that I made this proclamation of well intentioned, forced joy, my Christmas dreams were crushed by the murder of one of my students.

Losing Johnny broke me, and I subsequently kinda gave up on Christmas for a while last year. I battled between depression, and the urge to fight my feelings and simply “fix” said depression. I so badly wanted Christmas cookies and cheerful music to fix everything like it always seemed to in those stupid ABC Family Christmas movies. So, I tried to force a few cheerful traditions as an attempt to pull myself out of the darkness and pain. But the truth was, while they distracted me temporarily, none of those things could fix my aching heart or the hearts of the students around me. If anything, my inability to fix the situation just shoved me further into an emotional meltdown.

I'm not even kidding you; Christmas was so broken last year that even my Christmas cookies came out in pieces.
I’m not even kidding you; Christmas was so broken last year that even my Christmas cookies came out looking like a mess.

A year later, life looks drastically different in the weeks leading up to Christmas. (Can I get a hallelujah?!)

But even now, twelve months and twenty-five hundred miles removed from the events of last Christmas season, my heart still hurts. It hurts because I still don’t know how to appropriately grieve the death of an eighteen year old who was trying to turn his life around. (And I feel stupid– like after a year of wrestling with the consequences and darkness of gang warfare, I should have this figured out…)

My heart hurts because even in the middle of nowhere, I’ve got a lot of really real crap going on in my heart, and I know you probably do too.

It’s the holidays, and therefore I’m dealing with my annual child-of-divorce, “I’m-going-to-have-to-pick-which-side-of-the-family-to-disappoint-on-Christmas” struggle. I’m wrestling with a deep, selfish desire to avoid the conflict and pain I know I’ll be confronted with upon my return to Denver. I’m struggling to reconcile the fact that when I leave this village and return to the safe arms of my loved ones in three weeks, I’ll be sending my TLC students back to unsafe spaces to fend off the darkness on their own for a month.

I know I’m not alone in the mess. There are real things that we’re all struggling with, and newsflash: the struggles (at least my struggles) don’t ever seem to care whether it’s Christmas time or the middle of July.

Within these weird struggles of life I’m left with a lot of questions. Questions like:

If the pain of losing Johnny isn’t going to go away, even a year later, how do I decorate gang warfare for Christmas? How do I hide the pain that it has brought to my Street School family, or the unrelated pain that I’m feeling in my heart because of family struggles and relational breakdown? Should I even try to hide it at all?

Should I try to smother my heartbreak by wrapping it in Christmas lights and pretending that it doesn’t exist? That seems to be close to how the world tells me I should handle this internal battle, yet that “solution” doesn’t sit right in my soul…

But I think this is what we, as Christians, feel like we have to do.

Within the church we feel this need to be perfect, especially around the holidays. But I, for one, can’t be perfect; I’m completely incapable of it. And I’m sick of feeling like there’s something wrong with me for wanting to be real.

Yet even within my craving for authenticity, I still hesitate to bring up the places I’m struggling. After all, I don’t want to be the one to ruin someone else’s perceived holiday perfection with my mess. None of us want to be the broken, hurting ones in the midst of a season that seems to be the antithesis of such behavior.

There isn’t space for real life or real pain in the way our culture does Christmas. I think that’s such a shame because I’m pretty sure God doesn’t have His calendar divided into “times that are appropriate to discuss hard things” and “times that are to be devoted only to the drinking of hot chocolate, wearing trendy/ugly sweaters, and listening to Michael Buble’s Christmas album in the car”.

No. In His calendar, there is a time of longing for, and a time of receiving Jesus through His birth.

And friends, this season—advent—is that season of longing.

We all have really deep longings that match our questions and pain, and advent should be a season, just like any other, where we can express those within the safety of the church without someone trying to sweep us under the rug and shove a shiny Christmas tree on top of us and our problems.

Advent is a season devoted to waiting and wrestling, longing and hoping. It was not created to be a season devoted to aesthetic perfection.

This world isn’t perfect; I don’t think you need a church calendar to tell you that. But I think that it’s okay to let advent be a season of recognizing just how broken this world is. It’s okay to talk about the imperfections in our lives, because through acknowledging them, we can more deeply acknowledge our need for Christ and His coming–for the renewal that only He could bring to our brokenness, both through His birth in that manger two thousand years ago and in His someday second coming.

This advent and Christmas season, I pray that the church will be a people who make space for the brokenness (and broken people) in our lives, knowing that Christ has done the same for humanity. May we be a people who speak truth and light into the dark, complicated places of our lives, together. And as we wrestle with our brokenness and as creation groans, may we see Hope within poor circumstance, rather than try to forget that brokenness exists.

May we look to the soon-coming Christ, the reason for our confidence and Hope for redemption, deeply knowing that because of what He has done for us in His birth, death, and resurrection, that our sufferings will be lifted one day, for He is making all things new.

May we be a people that sees the Light in the darkness, acknowledging both, but embracing the truth that Jesus came to be the light that could never be extinguished.
As I light the advent candles in my home, know that I will always light them for you too, Johnny, just like we did in La Alma Park last December at your candlelight vigil. You are not forgotten. You never could be; you simply shined too brightly with that goofy smile of yours. Thank you for teaching so many of us what Light can look like in abject darkness.

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light; those who dwelt in the land of deep darkness, on them has Light shone.”

(Isaiah 9:2)

Water into wine

“Miss!” He shouted as he threw open my classroom door and stuck half of his body in my room. I glanced up from my laptop and met the eyes of Sanchez*, one of my MANY beloved fourteen year old freshmen.

“Miss!!!” He yelled again, as if I hadn’t heard him the first time, when he nearly knocked my classroom door through the wall. “I’m gonna beat his a**!”

Laughing to myself, I glanced from Sanchez to one of my junior girls who was drawing in the rocking chair across from mine. She shook her head quietly as the same smirk I was wearing started to draw across her face.

Returning to the e-mail I had been writing, I mindlessly drawled, “That’s not very nice Sanchez… What would Jesus do?”

I glanced up to see him frowning in my direction, giving me his best Shut it, lady glare.

Just then a quiet giggle came from the rocking chair and Emily perked up. “Jesus would turn him into wine.”

I laughed so hard at the flippancy of her statement that I nearly dropped the computer that had been balancing on my knees. My kids are nothing if not absolutely hilarious.

~

About a month ago, I was laying in bed, talking on the phone with a friend. It was just a few days after Johnny had been murdered and I was really struggling to see the Light in our little school community and within my own heart.

“I know you can’t see it now,” she said. “But from the outside it’s really obvious that God’s doing a great work at DSS. Every time I pray for you guys I just keep thinking about when Jesus turned the water into wine in John 2. No one really knew about the miracle except for the servant and he didn’t even see it right away… and I think that’s kinda what you guys are doing. He’s turning water into wine at DSS and you get to see it first. That’s pretty cool…”

As I laid there listening to her, all I could think was Yupp. We’ve got plenty of water. Unfiltered, dirty, rough water… I mean freshmen… I mean water…

(Allow me to clarify: One of the reasons that this year has been so difficult is because our student body is SO young. In the last two years we’ve graduated 27 seniors– a record and miracle in itself! But when a school is only made up of roughly 40 kids at a time, losing that many leaders and replacing them with rambunctious, rough 14 year olds, well… it makes things a bit more interesting.

Sometimes this year it has felt like we’re all out of our “precious aged wine” and all we’ve got around here is water– freshmen that is. In fact, most days it feels like we’re drowning in the chaos of the freshmen…)

As my friend began to change subjects, I made a mental note of her observation, but honestly didn’t think much more of it. I had far too much to think about in those first few weeks anyway.

Or maybe I didn’t…

Maybe the only thing that I thought about for a while was why…

Why was Johnny gone? Why did God let this happen? Why did he randomly march into the principal’s office in October, sit down, and say, “I know I’m 18 with freshman credits. I know I’m not the best student. I know this is gonna be hard, but I want you all to teach me. I’m ready to learn.” Why on earth would He bring Johnny, a kid who had been at DSS three years earlier, back to the school only to have him there for less than a quarter before being murdered?!

My questions were repetitive. They swirled through my brain while I was awake and inundated my dreams when I fell asleep.

And I wasn’t the only one.

The Monday after we lost Johnny, the computer teacher and I sat down after school and processed what we knew about the investigation and what we had seen the week before.

I rambled through all of my “why” questions once more and she quietly hung her head and said,

Ya know, I’m not really one’a those ‘audible voice of God’ kinda people. When I pray, I usually don’t get answers right away. But this weekend, I was praying, asking the Lord all of those questions you just listed off…and I got an answer.

I was sitting there, asking God why, why, why?! and out of no where, He just said, ‘Because I want to be in the middle of this.’  And it dawned on me that He is.

More people than I can count have been praying for their family, our staff, and our students. People I don’t even know have told me they’re praying for peace in this city. I think He brought Johnny back here, not to stop this from happening, but so the aftermath would be covered in prayer and love… He’s gonna be glorified through whatever comes out of this.

I sat there, staring at my fidgety hands and breathed a sigh of relief. Even if it wasn’t what I necessarily wanted to hear, God had a plan, even in the darkest of situations.

~

As I sat in my rocking chair last Thursday, giggling and trying to collect my composure and the papers that I had dropped when Emily made me erupt into laughter, Sanchez remained in my door, clearly not nearly as amused as I was.

“But for real, Miss. Come here.” He demanded, motioning me to the doorway.

After collecting my mess, I grabbed my keys and followed him out the door.

“What’s up, dude?”

“Miss, I don’t want to end up like Johnny.” He said seriously as he stared straight at me.

My heart twitched and I swallowed back the emotional feeling that was starting to rise in the back of my throat. Unsure of what to say, I stammered out a simple, “Uh okay…” and kept my eyes locked on his.

“Miss, I’m not gonna tell you whose a** I want to kick, but I do want to give you this so I don’t do anything stupid.”

As he said that, he took off his hat, pulled a blade out from under the bill, and held it out for me to take.

“I found this and was gonna use it. But then I thought about Johnny and realized that I don’t want that to be me… I don’t want that to be the other guy either.”

With that, he turned on his heels and walked down the hall to lunch, leaving me stunned, standing in the hallway with a blade in my hand.

Water into wine, folks…

God is doing miracles within our walls everyday.

He is in the middle of our turbulent, freshmen infested water, turning it into wine. Sloooooowwwwwwly but surely. And He is being glorified by what may seem like the tiniest of miracles and positive decisions.

 

*Student’s name has been changed to protect their identity

Backup. [Jan ’15 Support Update]

I’ve sat down six times in the last two weeks to write what I knew needed to be written– this. My semi-annual support update. And yet each time I’ve deleted my words and walked away from my computer feeling defeated.

This update has been tougher to write than most.

By this time in the school year, I wanted to be able to write beautiful stories about all of the great things God is doing in the school right now. I wanted to write you and say that students are coming to know the Lord in droves, that they are making wise choices, and that they’re all working furiously to finish their high school educations… but unfortunately that’s not where we are right now.

The state of the school is difficult to put into words. In fact, the only metaphor that I can use to explain what’s happening within these walls is to say that we are walking onto a battle field every morning… No. Actually we’re in the middle of a full scale war.

Last semester was heart breaking. I watched as students walked away from God, throwing classroom doors through walls on their way out.

I listened as my co-workers sat across from me, crying out to God, begging Him to please give us a bit of relief from the onslaught of spiritual and emotional attacks we were experiencing.

I cleaned up shards of glass and furniture that was broken and wiped a student’s blood off of a concrete wall.

I stood frozen in time at a student’s candle light vigil and watched as bandanas were pulled over faces and war cries were made to avenge Johnny’s death.

These images and sensations washed over me every time I pulled out my laptop and tried to explain what I am doing in these walls everyday.

But to be entirely honest, on most days I don’t know what I’m doing anymore.

I feel unqualified. Confused. Weak. Ineffective. Exhausted.

I feel like we’re losing battle after battle and somedays, when my faith falters, I can’t help but wonder if we’re going to lose the war too…

But yesterday God reminded me that it’s not what I’m doing within these walls that matters– It’s what He’s doing. And even though I may not always see it in the midst of the fight, He is doing great things.

Yesterday when I walked into our Thursday afternoon staff meeting, one of my students was sitting in my usual spot. No one else in the room seemed phased by the fact that Raul* was joining us, so I pulled out a chair and took a seat.

“Now that you’re all here, I want to tell you something.” He proceeded as soon as I sat down. Thinking he was joking around, the majority of our staff let out a little giggle. “God’s been talking to me.” He said, unphased by the laughter.

Confused, I glanced over at my principal whose eyes were fixed on the small 18 year old boy next to me.

“He’s been saying things… Telling me that I need to talk to the kids in this school and show them that they can stop doing what they’re doing.

I get it; I used to be just like them. They don’t care if they do their homework. They don’t care if they hurt people. They don’t have anything to lose. But God has been telling me that I need to tell them my story. The story of how He saved me from myself. “

As the words came out of his mouth, I sat there stunned, mentally cataloging the change I’ve seen in him over the last two and half years– specifically since he gave his life to Christ the summer before last.

Raul.

This is the kid who threw his binder at my head his first year and came to cooking class kicking and screaming. (Literally.) The kid who tried to throw a computer at me when he got frustrated by his writing project. Wait, wait, wait… The same kid who literally had to be carried out of my classroom IN HIS CHAIR because he refused to leave the room when I tried to send him to the principal for threatening another student. The kid who has probably made me lock myself in my classroom and cry more than anyone else in my teaching career.

Yes, this was the kid sitting next to me, telling my peers and I that God had changed him and that he wanted others to experience that kind of change.

I could hardly believe it.

Yet there he sat, requesting a day in chapel to speak to his peers.

“I know you guys have had it hard lately.” He continued. “I don’t say much and neither do you, but I can see it in your eyes. You’re tired and hurt and need backup. And God has called me to back you guys up– to shine light into this school through the trials and tribulations He’s brought me through. So if you need me to set someone straight, let me know. God’s given me a pretty good story and I’ve got your backs.”

As he slumped back in his chair and carefully folded his hands on the table in front of him, he started to get blurry.

Per usual, tears were welling up in my eyes– but for the first time in a long time they were tears of joy and relief, not of sadness or fear.

I could tell you a million different stories about Raul’s time at DSS, but the thing that struck me the hardest (other than the obvious calling that God has put on his life) was the fluidity with which he spoke.

Three years ago, Raul came to us as a 15 year old with a second grade reading level. He struggled to communicate basic ideas, and yet there he was next to me using the word “tribulation”… in the right context… in a complete thought… that actually made sense…

That, in itself is a miracle.

Not only is God working in my kids’ lives spiritually by drawing them to Himself, but He is working miracles through the rigorous, individualized academics provided within our walls. And that is why I continue to walk onto the battle field everyday.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support my students and I as we engage in this crazy fight. Sometimes it’s dark and difficult, but the fruit is always beautiful.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can get involved at the Street School through prayer or volunteer work, feel free to shoot me an email at KacyLouLeyba@gmail.com and I will gladly get you in the loop.

Or if you feel called to partner with me financially as I continue to walk in faith and raise a chunk of my own salary, you can do so by clicking here and simply writing Leyba Support in the comment section.

Again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for making life change possible.

awards2012

*Students name has been changed to protect their identity.