Being on staff with City Life can definitely come with its challenges. Beyond the music, group settings, games and laughter, there is often stories that touch our hearts when we sit down and have one on one time with a student.
One student in particular is Andrew. Andrew is such a humorous, creative person who has a hunger for drawing and music and is filled with so much personality, he’s clearly set apart from the rest kids in his group. He has touched our hearts over the years but within the last year or so Andrew has begun to trust our team and some of the volunteers with what is truly going on under the surface.
At the beginning of the summer, Andrew went with our City Life team to our annual high school youth conference in New Jersey called Heatwave. While there, we had a very deep conversation in which he let his walls down and put his trust in me. Andrew confessed that he has been suffering with depression and is often ruled by his emotions. He mentioned that the root to his pain was all stemming from his father who abandoned him while he was a child. Emptiness, bitterness, suicidal thoughts, and beliefs of inadequacies were some of the challenges that Andrew mentioned he suffered with due to his father’s actions. This is where I was able to sow seeds of Christ’s love in him and share that God wants to redeem his life and make things new despite the hand he was dealt.
Here at Youth For Christ we strive for moments like these; where our leaders and volunteers invest and build relationships with the students so that we can be real and vulnerable about life and it’s struggles. Please pray for our staff and volunteers as we engage and invest in the youth and in their hardship. I also ask that you lift Andrew up in prayer and ask the Lord for deliverance, emotional strength, and that he would walk out his faith in Jesus Christ.
*Names have been changed