Lizzie has been coming to Cohoes City Life for about six months. However, I first met her four years ago because her older brother was attending Club. At that time, Lizzie was too young, but she was always hanging around and trying to sneak in. We built up a relationship with her brother, brought him on one of our winter retreats, reached out to connect, but he randomly stopped showing up, stopped responding to texts and ultimately stopped going to school or even coming out of his house.
I was disappointed with that relationship falling apart because I had been so hopeful about it, but I continued reaching out to their mom, and I would say hi to Lizzie anytime we ran into each other. Over the course of the last few years, I would invite her to join us whenever I saw her, but it seemed like she always had something going on. Finally, at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, I ran into her and her mom as I was picking kids up for City Life and I invited her again. Things seemed different this time and even though she had softball practice that night she begged her mom to skip it so she could come along with us that night and her mom agreed to it. Fast forward to today and Lizzie has not missed a City Life gathering all year and she even invited one of her best friends who’s been coming consistently as well.
There is no real faith background in their family, but Lizzie engages with our discussions, never seems put off by them, and even came to church for the first time last month! While there has not been a declaration of faith from her, I am excited to see how Jesus will continue working in her heart through City Life and the relationship that we are building with her and her family.
*Names have been changed