Sunday, January 12, 2014

Things to make you cry (like naps and sweet teenagers)

I took a nap instead of writing this earlier. Then I missed the first hour of the Golden Globes because of said nap. Life is cruel. (just kidding)

Today I presented (along with some of my fabulous students) at a local supporting church. It was super cool to present on our work with Apache Youth Ministries IN FRONT of my students, since normally I can say whatever I want without them in the audience. :) But it really was awesome to make sure that I was respecting them and their community with what I said, as well as letting them know how much we love and care for them.

It was basically the best day ever. Our kids are the bestest. And the nicest. And the funniest. Don't you wish you could work with me?

Here is what I shared with the church, that I can now share with you:

We have all moved to this area in the last few years from all over the US because we believe that God wants to do a mighty work among Native American teenagers. For many, when they look at the reservation system, they see statistics, but in our line of work we view those statistics differently. When others see a youth suicide rate 5x higher than the national average, we choose not to see despair, but to see an opportunity to transform hopelessness into hope. When others see that over 40% of the reservation down the road live under the poverty line, we see an opportunity to mentor our students and help them envision a better future, one that might include education, a healthy family, and a safe life. When others see the high risk of violent crime that surrounds us in our work place, we see a community begging for transformation, a community that needs to know and understand the redeeming and healing power of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

6 days out of the week we spend investing our time in students that we believe are going to be the beginning of a new work that God is doing on the reservation. Through hanging out at our youth center after school, tuesday night bible studies, thursday night youth events, friday night movies and saturday night church pick-ups, we believe that lives can be transformed when the lies are expelled and the truth of God remains. The truth that each and every student is valuable, is loved, is worthy, is strong, and is capable. Our goal is to empower Apache youth by believing in them, and helping them to build a personal relationship with a God who believes in them too. 

And these kiddos blew me away. Check out their testimonies (it will make you cry. . .and you also need headphones so you can hear their beautiful words). It is worth your time. 

Click here!  Make sure you do! Click there! Do it! (It is a facebook video, so you need an account to see it. If you don't have a facebook account, email me or comment below and I'll send it to you.)

Now check out these pictures:



(We borrowed the baby.)

Thanks for tuning in! And thanks for supporting me as I live this crazy beautiful adventure. 

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