Working with kids whose home lives are difficult, behaviours are poor and may be considered unlovable has its challenges and rewards.
There is a young man named George who has been coming to Drop-In and Bible Talk for the past little while. He always comes early to Drop-In to help set up. Now, he is going to the Carpenter’s Church Sunday School. He actually shows up before anyone else gets there and helps out.
I continue to drive a group of young men to YFCHL every week as well as run the concession there. This gives me the opportunity to hangout, catch the odd game and cheer my boys on while they do what they love. We recently finished playoffs which got pretty intense! One of the boys I’m close with made it to the final where they ended up losing in game 6. During that final game he lost his temper and threw his goalie stick across the floor. On the way home, he asked if I saw him lose his temper. When I said yes, he said “I’m sorry you had to see that”. I told him it was okay to be emotional. It is humbling to realize he respected me enough to apologize for his behaviour.
Sometimes, I question whether I am making a difference in the lives of the kids I am working with. I wonder whether I can really be the guy that God wants to use to speak to these kids. The guys I drive to hockey have become very close to me and we celebrate their birthdays with a trip to Fuddruckers. A couple of weeks ago, one of my coworkers overheard one of the hockey boys refer to me as “their grandpa” who takes care of them and celebrates their birthdays with them. I hadn’t realized that these kids don’t have families that take them out for their birthdays, nor do they have anyone to really celebrate them. I am humbled by this and extremely grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to work with this group.