Transitional Youth

(100's of In-Take forms)

Last night, I got to take a couple of my high school girls downtown to help serve the homeless youth.  We got there just as they were about to start serving food and was told there was nothing for us to do (they had enough volunteers for the night, blessing!)  A bit disappointed, we turned to head out the door and had resolved to come back next week.  As we were leaving one of the coordinators asked us if we would be willing to help out in a different way?  Of course!  She took us to a back room and asked us to alphabetize the in-take forms.

This was not serving the homeless youth like we had planned.  But, our plans are not always God's plans.  This was a prime example of God growing my heart.  I didn't get to interact with the homeless like before but, I had a different lesson to learn.

The three of us started in on the giant stack of papers.  As we organized ourselves and set to the paperwork, we listened to the "colorful" conversations of the youth outside the window.  I didn't hear complaining or arguing.  What I heard was laughter, lots of laughter.  These kids live on the cold, rainy streets of Portland.  They don't know where their next meal might come from, they aren't sure if they will have a dry place to sleep, they have been neglected and rejected.  Their laughter tells me they still have hope.  How long will that hope last?

I was overwhelmed looking through the forms I was organizing.  There were so many.  Ages 15-26 and more marked "too old".  Place of residence was marked street, bridge, or couch surfing.  They had street names like Lost, Glitter, and Hatter.  I have no idea how many forms we sorted but, it looked like these were only from the month of January.  Hundreds of homeless youth on my streets.
Psalm 9:18 But those who are in need will always be remembered. The hope of those who are hurting will never die.
My heart is broken for these young people but, I can't imagine how God's heart aches over and over for these Babies.  He loves them so.  I am not going to ask you to come downtown with me and serve the kids (although that would be tremendous!), I am asking you to pray for them.  Pray for the kids on the street, pray for this organization who is bridging the gap for these kids, and pray that your heart would be moved into action.

The following is a video about Transitional Youth.  If you want to know more, visit their website:

Transitional Youth is an organization in Portland, Oregon that strives "to positively transform the hearts and lives of at-risk and homeless youth" (from their website).