This summer I had the privilege of working with a young man named Adam. Adam was placed at Reigning Life Family Church, as a City of Albany Summer Youth Employee. Each week he would come and work at the church helping Pastor Evenly and I get ready for the new school year and our clubs.
While working together I got to know Adam. He is an only child from a single family home who lives in the West Hill community (Uptown) and was stationed to work in the SouthEnd (downtown). During the weeks of working together we spoke about his future aspirations, of becoming a doctor and getting out of the inner-city. I learned that Adam goes to church ever week with his mom. I asked him about his faith and he talked about the areas he struggles with in his faith, questioning why God allows horrible things to happen to his family and why God can’t get them out of his neighborhood. These questions truly helped me go deeper with Adam about faith and God; we turned to the Bible and studied about suffering and the faith of steadfastness.
During the last week of Summer Youth Employment, Adam and the other youth workers were faced with a very serious situation. While out picking up trash and leaves around the building, a group of kids from Downtown drove by and opened fired, targeting Adam, as his cousin is a gang member Uptown and they were trying to “send a message”. Thankfully no one was hurt during this situation and more steps to keep everyone safe have been taken, but through this event more doors of sharing God’s love have opened. Adam and I have continued to connect. We connect at least two times a week to not only talk about life, but to focus on God’s calling on his life. He still has many questions but I truly believe he is on the verge of accepting Christ as his Lord and Savior.
*Names have been changed