|McDonald's trip with students|
With school starting in the last month and programs beginning, it has been a whirlwind of craziness. I am involved in a few programs while being at the local middle school. It has been hard to find balance in my schedule, learning what things need more time and which people need more attention.
This last week was like any other week at our weekly program. We had a few games and activities running for the students that had shown up. Some weeks I wonder, in between all the craziness, like toilet paper dodge ball and push up competitions, do these young people realize the presence of love in this place? Do they know they are cared for and that there is hope for their future? This week I was reassured of this while speaking with a few students. Nearing the end of the night, during Spiritual Life, a student began to have a panic attack. She sent her friend to come get me from our small group time and we sat outside and had a long conversation about life. I was happy that they had chosen me as the trusted adult in this situation, to sit and talk about life’s stresses and the overwhelming pressure of home life. She said something to me that really stood out. She said, “this place is my family.” How cool is that? Not only did she recognize that she was cared for and this was a safe space to be herself, but she realized that she was loved without conditions by the staff and volunteers.
So, how do you monitor a youth’s progress? How can you measure success when working with people? It is an ongoing journey of ups and downs. This might not seem like a huge success to some of you, but it is. Family is a luxury that not all of us were blessed with and I am so thankful for all of these moments.
From receiving frantic phone calls from stressed out students to helping young people enjoy the small things in life, I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve these young people and work along side them through the good and the bad. Thank you so much for your continued thoughts and prayers. If you pray, please pray for this young person this week as she goes through daily negativity in her life outside of our programs.
- Amy Seiler