The Gift of Presence

Showing youth different churches

There were a lot of unexpected things that happened to me this last year. As you may have heard, there were a few sudden deaths in my family and friend circles, and some other life-altering events that have impacted my current life. Yet through the good and the bad, I am thankful for it all. Life has been fairly busy over the last few years and I realized that I have not been investing as much time into my friends and family as I would like. To make a long story short, I would really like to get together with you sometime this year and thank you for the time, effort and support you have given me over the years.

There are so many things that you have enabled me to do - just with your presence, your encouraging words, your love, and your support. You have enabled me to support youth through rehabilitation programs after an overdose, sit with them as they wait for the doctor, take youth to different churches in the community, encourage them on their hard days, provide some youth and families with meals, help them gain access to counseling, and even let me take training to help me be a better, more effective youth worker.

One story in particular comes to mind of a time when one small act made a big difference for one of our youth. Over Christmas, we had been giving out Christmas hampers to youth who we knew were in need at this time of year. I asked one youth in particular what they wanted in a hamper and they claimed they wanted nothing. Feeling like this was not full story, I asked what we could give that would really help. That’s when they looked down at their shoes. It was their only pair and they were torn and full of holes. I was able to spend time with them shopping for a new pair, something they couldn’t afford to do. It’s such a cool thing to be able to do something like that for someone you care about, knowing it will truly make a difference.

I believe that one of the greatest gifts a person can offer another is their time and the ability to be present. Know that you are enabling me to be that transformational presence in so many ways.

- Amy Seiler

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