In North Dallas public schools, many of our kids live in a world of total uncertainty. Each semester I think, "I’ve heard it all" until another kid tells me a story so heartbreaking that I simply do not know what to say.
“Hey, sorry I can’t come to church this week. My dad called and wanted to get lunch.” A text from an 18-year-old girl who had never met or even talked to her father before.
“Hey, sorry I’m not going to college anymore because I don’t have a ride.” We've heard stories that break our hearts continually. However, one of the hardest stories came from my friend, James, who texted me asking if I could speak to his mom.
James’ dad had recently been sent to prison. His brother and main caretaker just left for college. He was living with his mom and the two were struggling to just get by. I stopped by to see what was going on and that’s when he told me they had been evicted. My heart broke. I could not imagine the weight a 16-year-old on the verge of being homeless must feel. At that time, we did not know how to best serve and care for his family but knew we still wanted James to have the opportunity to experience camp, the greatest week of a kids life (guaranteed). After meeting with Young Life Committee, we decided we were going to be able to help he and his mom by doing whatever it takes to get him on the bus to camp.
Camp was “the greatest week of James’ life”. I had never seen him genuinely smile. I had definitely never seen him laugh like a child. It was unbelievable. At camp, James confessed that while he had already given his life to Christ, he had no idea what it meant to really follow Jesus. We were able to talk about casting our fears and burdens on the Lord, turning to Him daily, and leaning on Christian community for help. We also prayed about his unknown living situation that was waiting for him when he returned to Dallas. During that time, I told him, “Don’t worry. We’re going to pray about this and when we get back, God is going to take care of you.”
When he got home, we were able to help raise enough money to get their rent extended for two months. James was able to find a permanent place to live and has been coming to Young Life every week since camp. Camp was a life-changing experience for James. Would you consider helping us do “whatever it takes” to get the next kid on the bus for the greatest week of their life?