I currently work at a youth correctional facility in upstate New York. I love kids. I have a passion and calling for working with kids. I was blessed on October 4th 2012 to begin this new step in the direction of “helping” lost kids gain skills necessary to live successful lives in society. GOD HELP ME!
“Hi, my name’s Chris, what’s your name?”
“Suck my d!ck.”
“What an interesting name!”
Thank God I have this weird humor defense (many people have) that breaks the ice in these situations (the kid started laughing and we’ve been getting along ever since). However, a whole different response immediately formed in my head.
WTF? That’s being honest. Kid, I was just introducing myself to you! Is this what you want my first impression of you to be? Where are you coming from?!
Yes! That is exactly what he wants my first impression of him to be. Where is he coming from? A place I never really have been and never wish to be (there was some bad engrish in there).
So what the hell do I do? What the hell can I do?
Okay, so I need to some how help this young man (and many more young men just like him) grow, mature, and gain the skills and will to stay out of prison once he gets out. Here’s the problem: even with all the skills, the will, growth, and maturity, this young man will experience GREAT friction against said assets the moment he gets home.
Where will it start first? Family. Mom and Dad/boyfriend (if she’s not alone) will most likely do one or both of the following: (1) give the kid some drugs and money and tell him to take care of business, and/or (2) assume the kid hasn’t changed, regardless of what he says/does the first few days back home.
So where’s the belonging?!?! Where’s the encouragement? Where are the opportunities? What’s the medium in which he can employ his new found skills?
What hope is there in this? Is New York state going to heal this child and help him make a permanent change for the better? No. Will his family? No. Will his friends? No. Will his coworkers? No. Will his teachers? No. Will I? No!
Who will? Aha! HE WILL! HE MUST! But how? With what support? What/who could possibly stand as an unwavering support of his well-being?
Jesus. He must have an unwavering support within. When the environment around you is pitch black, what do you need to find your way out? A light! A guide! A hand to hold! Someone to walk you through it each step of the way!
Maybe someone will see you and ask to come along. Before yoy know it, the place may be full of light before you even get out! Then, you don’t have to leave. You’ve not only changed yourself, you sparked a change in the environment.
Who else but God has the power and will to enable this kid to do such great things?
All I can do is obey and hope. That, I will do.