By Claire Froehlich, Juvenile Justice Ministry Chaplain
When you first meet “Shay”, it’s impossible not to notice her big, boisterous personality and strong presence. With both parents addicted to heroin and in and out of prison, Shay’s grandmother was the consistent, loving, Christian presence raising her most of her life. Her own struggle with substance abuse landed her in detention.
“I really love Jesus but I just wanted to feel what my parents were talking about and understand why they abandoned me. And duh, I should have known it’s addictive. It’s hard to not want that high all the time. But you know me, I get crazy as f*** on it and end up hurting people I don’t want to hurt. At least now I understand that my mom didn’t mean to hurt me. “
We talked a lot about forgiving her mom, dad, and herself. It had been a year since she transitioned from Mt View to a group home when I ran into her working at Walmart. I told her how proud I was of her and she beamed with big, boisterous pride!
“I might be promoted to Assistant Manager soon and I get the key to my own apartment September 1st. Thanks for being proud of me! I’m determined to stick with Jesus, stay clean and get on with my life.”
Your prayers and partnership during this challenging ministry season demonstrate that you too want to reach young people like Shay, believing their story is not over regardless of the enemy’s efforts to steal, kill, and destroy. We praise God for you and count it a privilege to serve Him with you!
And you just never know who might be serving you at Walmart!
Thank you for being a part of the ongoing conversation with youth in our city and helping us share God’s story. It’s our honor to be the storytellers on your behalf who meet kids right where they are and give life to their story.
Providing young people in our community with the opportunity to make an informed decision to be a follower of Jesus Christ and become part of a local church.