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In the afternoons I have begun to take one of my kids with me when I go to work with the kids in the river. It has been quite a shock for them to see how mean and violent these kids can be. One day the kids were all making thank you cards for a team who had really helped them. Kai, my oldest was making a card too. Kai was almost done and writing his name when a little girl walked up, looked at what he had done and said it was bad and ugly! I didn’t see it happen but I found Kai hiding in a corner close to tears. He told me what happened. I had to remind Kai that the words these kids use are the words that are spoken to them everyday by their authority figures. The sad reality is that they find it far easier to say mean things then nice. I told him that everyday at least one kid will tell me I am stupid or ugly, but that same kid will climb in my lap and let me hold him for a long time. They are only expressing what they know.
I had the opportunity last week to go to a Christian drug and alcohol rehab center. Another guy and I shared our testimonies of how God set us free from drug addiction. Being with all of these guys brought back so many memories of what it was like for me coming off of the streets a drug addict with no hope and how in that place God broke through in my life in a way I never would have believed. One of the things that was so impacting for me when I was in rehab were the people who came and shared testimonies of how God changed their lives against all odds. This was my first time back to rehab in nearly 16 years and I hope that my testimony impacted some of their lives and gave them hope that with God change is possible. It was so good to be reminded of all that God brought me out of.