Laura Manca, Youth Worker for Youth for Christ’s Street Life program
Our first few weeks with this amazing RV have been an exciting and interesting adjustment. It is a new space for everyone and it has made a huge difference in the lives of the youth so far. Of course with anything new, there are always things we need to adjust too. There have been challenging moments as we have tried to develop some form of guidelines for respecting the space and those in it. But I think we are getting there! Please pray for our interactions and conversations with the youth as they join in on our evenings.
Our first night out, there was quite a lot of excitement in the air. We drove up to our regular spot and parked our new vehicle. Shortly after this people starting arriving and we joyously welcomed them.
One girl, who always seems to be in a fight with us, was among the first to hop inside. Almost immediately you could see her body physically relax. She walked around and took in the space— admired things, snooped in places she wasn’t supposed too (a normal habit of hers) and then she took up residence in our eating booth. She sat there quite content looking. I was shocked at the way her whole countenance had eased.
“You want a cookie?” I asked her.
“Yes, please.” She said.
Whoa—manners, another rare occurrence. I grabbed her cookie and put it in a napkin on the table in front of her. She sat there looking down at it, then looking up at me with her huge brown eyes she asked, “Can I have a plate?”
I smiled at the irregular request and responded, “We don’t have any plates hun—sorry. Did you want a plate because it’s like sitting at a table in a home?” She looked up at me a nodded saying, “Yah, it is.”
A home—it really is. Away from those other things that are not like home.
I realize that this young lady will not always act this way each time she comes, in fact she hasn’t. But it is these moments, though they may be brief that remind me of why I want to be there. A moment where she felt the dignity of eating at a table with friends, which of course, requires the proper eating utensils! It is amazing how a simply a plate under our food, or sitting at a table across from someone sharing a meal can make you feel so valued. These moments are glimpses for me. Glimpses of the kind of community and family we are trying to build with these youth. Glimpses of Isaiah 61 and that is what I hold on to.
Beauty in the broken, joy in the mourning—freedom for the captives.
Thanks for your prayers and support friends. This new adventure is bringing us into deeper places with youth every week.