Small Steps

Teaching a youth to skateboard
As I sat across the table from her, I noticed her dark eyeliner, her cap over her face and her hood up. I wondered what caused such a rough exterior.  Stand off-ish at best, I am now surprised at the journey that this youth and I have been on over this past year and half. Our casual conversations have turned from ‘what are you watching on TV’ into ‘how are things at home’. I was able to see how her complex and turbulent home life has caused her to put up a wall of fear around trust. But underneath this exterior wall was a caring, strong and responsible young woman. I was thankful for the relationship I had developed with her that allowed me to be there at a crucial turning point in her life when I received a text that read, “I’m pregnant”.

As much as I was worried that now her time as a youth had been cut short, I was excited that I had the opportunity to walk with her through this. I never thought this would open the door for me to be able to support her entire family so, when her mom needed a ride to the doctors, I jumped at the
opportunity.

After driving around for a significant portion of the day, our final stop was McDonalds. Her mom wanted food for the family and as we pulled through the drive-through, I pulled my card out and paid for the meal (which is not unusual for this work). She looked at me and exclaimed, “You bought food for my family?” Tears followed this statement. Many, many tears. She was extremely grateful that a stranger would help her. It made me realize that even the smallest of gestures can have an impact on people’s lives.

I have been blow away with people’s generosity in supporting this family. I had friends who donated baby items to the soon to be mother as well as people who donated hundreds of dollars to feed the family over the Christmas season. It is not without the generosity of you who have come along side me that these families can be touched. Thank you for all that you have done by being a part of making someone’s life a little brighter when there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. I am thankful Jesus has allowed me the opportunity to love people in this way. And I am thankful you are all a part of it!

- Rachel Tapp

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