Last Saturday, I had a rare unexpected day off. I used that opportunity to watch the March for Our Lives event. I sat proud of the way the youth stood up for what they believed in and demanded action! There are times when I am asked why do I spend time working with youth, and last Saturday was proof of why.
As I sit here writing this, I am preparing to leave for another Jamaica Mission Trip to work with youth there for another year, my heart is warmed by what I witnessed. In my youth there were people who poured into me and contributed to who I am today. I feel that it is important to give back to youth and help them develop into productive citizens. You never know how a simple encounter will impact a youth.
There are many programs out there you can become a part of. Big Brothers Big Sisters and Girls Empowered Mentally for Success are two programs that I am part of that strive to help you. I am a mentor in one program and on the board for the other. Even if you cannot give time, you can invest in programs in other ways.
I challenge every person that reads this to find someone to invest in our youth. There will come a day when they will be in charge of making decisions and policy changes. This can only happen through education and sharing.
Wow, just realized that I have not written anything since March of last year! The second part of last year I was focused on training for a half marathon and accomplishing goals that I had set for myself, that blogging fell to the side. But that is alright because I am back and ready to educate and advocate!
I usually start the first blog of the year talking about my goals for the year, but this year I want to do start off differently. There are so many issues in the news today that I could speak on, but I honestly do not know where to begin. So I am going to start this year off writing about preparing for another year serving the youth of Jamaica on a mission trip.
Today the team met to start preparation for the trip. I am excited about another year meeting new youth and having the opportunity to let God use me in whatever way He sees fit. I have been participating in this trip since my Junior year of undergrad (I refuse to count the years! LOL). We have an amazing team that is forming and we are looking for other people to go, assist financially, or pray. If you are interested in helping in any way, please let me know.
Until next week I leave you with this quote from my Passion Planner: “WHETHER YOU THINK YOU CAN, OR YOU THINK YOU CAN’T-YOU’RE RIGHT. HENRY FORD”
So Day 2 is coming to an end. The youth arrived and we have 55 in all. Today has been filled with building relationships and establishing boundaries. We are already seeing transmformations starting to happen. My moment for today was standing in the shade with a young lady who did not want to play net ball (a cross between handball and basketball) because she was scared to try a new game. I ask her how did she learn to write and she responded in school. I pointed out that she had to practice to become efficient in writing. I discussed how if she never tries new things, how will she ever learn something new or meet her goals. She shrugged her shoulders as if to say “you got a point.” A little while later one of the yellow group’s leaders decided to play and had the girls teach her the game. I showed the young lady what was happening and it peaked her interest. Later when the teams changed guess who not only got out to play, but made some major plays!
The other intteresting thing that occured is all of the lovely hustles the youth are trying to make to win the budgeting and savings contest. See we are teaching them budgeting by giving them a certain amount of fake money. They are being charged rent, utilities, and food each day. We have a store where they can buy things, a bank where they can make deposits for savings with interest, and we are even teaching tithing. What has been so amazng is how the youth are taking to the challenge and coming up with ways to make extra money. Girls have plans to have the boys buy them things to save, while the boys are coming up with plans to buy things and try to resell them. The best one was the young lady who took the candy we gave her and tried to resell it to us. LOL This is a new venture we are trying to help them apply the lesson of budgeting. This should be interesting.
I am so amazed at how quick the connection with most of the youth are occuring and how God is already moving in some of the youth’s lives. Some of them were primed and ready to recieve what is in store. The enemy is mad evident by the migraine that is trying to creep in and how quickly some of my fellow team members are getting tired. But God! In our weakness He is giving strength.