If you ask me about any of “my kids” on the Apache reservation I could talk your ears off about their awesome qualities, their potential, and the ups and downs of their stories intertwining with my own. They are some of the most resilient teenagers I have ever met, and they honestly inspire me. I don’t know that I would be able to handle the amount of hardship and sadness that they have seen in their teenage years. So today I want to give you a chance to meet a few of my students, as well as hear what they have to say about my time with them. *I have asked permission to release their names and pictures to you, so don’t worry, they know :)*
The first person I would like you to meet is Crystal.
Crystal is such a gem. She and I got the chance to really know each other at a retreat we went to in Missouri last year. She rides bulls at rodeos and is a pretty tough cookie. She has had her ups and downs, but I am really proud of her effort to stay on track with God, even when she falls. She is one of the girls I am closest to and I am so excited to continue partnering with her as she works hard to be faithful to God. Here is what Crystal had to say about our time together last summer (side note: OEW is On Eagles Wings, a special opportunity for some of our students to travel to the “worst” reservations and share the gospel. It is an application and selection process and something Crystal worked hard to get accepted to):
“Meredith, God had blessed me with you for so many reasons. You told me last summer OEW was going to be great for me. I took your word for it. I love how your like a older sister to me. And Boy! Would it be more than a blessing for you to come back for good. We love you and thank you for being there for us.”
The next person I would like you to meet is Carmalynn.
Carmalynn and I also bonded at last year’s retreat and she is honestly my inspiration. At 18 she is a mom, and just a few months before baby Scarlett was born the father (and Carm’s boyfriend) took his own life. She has been through so much but she has an unshakeable faith in the Lord and His plan for her life and she has powered through. She is an incredible young woman who I feel honored to know. Here is what she had to say about my work with AYM:
“Meeting yu was a blessing and God sent yu to us for a reason. Thank yu for always being there for me for us and thank yu for yor prayers in th hard times I been through. My first WLS experience was fun w yu as our leader. Thank yu for evrything Meredith!”
Finally, this is Rico.
His quote was in my last post, but I hadn’t heard if I could show ya’ll who they were yet. So now you can put a face to his words (and I promised him it would be a good pic! haha).
I hope this helps as you picture my future ministry and partner with me in prayer and support. I believe that God has given me favor with these students, and I am excited for the plan He has for my continuing work with them. I am humbled by this whole experience, and I hope you will join me in praying for the rest of my financial support to come in so that I can get back to these students that I love so much!
Happy Friday :)