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Karina’s Story is Sad yet Full of Hope.

On a recent weekend retreat Karina asked if she could talk to me so we got comfortable on a bottom bunk in a small dorm room. Karina told me that she lied to me because when I had asked how she was she said she was “good.” She then began to share the real truth of her story. She lives with her grandmother, an aunt and 2 or 3 unrelated adults. There are strange people in and out constantly because they sell drugs from her house. Drugs flow freely through the house and she admitted that she was involved in some of the sales. Karina is 14.

She went on to share that there is always a lot of yelling and fighting going on, and she is often the target of it and feels very ganged up on by all the adults. There is physical violence as well and often times there is no food in the home. She said she really just stays in her room and escapes through music. She feels trapped and without power to change her situation.

We talked about that and all of the sin in this fallen world, we talked about how this world is temporal but Heaven is eternal and how her present situation did not determine her future. We talked about Jesus and the hope that is found in Him. As we talked about this hope, she said she wanted to begin a relationship with Jesus and began to pray saying “Jesus, I really need you now, please forgive all my sins.” As she went on with her prayer, I could feel her hands shake and watched her tears flow and I knew in that very moment that she was saved.

Karina had to go home at the end of the weekend, but I have been in constant touch with her. She is going to a local church down her street where she can be around other teenagers who are learning more about their faith, and also be with some City Life volunteers who also attend that church.

Karina’s story is sad, but full of hope and I cannot wait to see where God leads this precious young lady to in the future. Thank you for your partnership with us; only with your help can we continue to reach kids like Karina with Christ’s promise of eternal life.

-Cherie Vedder

*Names have been changed