This past Friday I was privileged in attending an 8th grade graduation for a few of the Contact kids. One of the girls I have known since she was five years old. I think I will always see that 5 year old little girl when I look at her. Anyway, I hugged her after graduation & said, "I'm so proud of you baby girl!" She replied, "I'm proud of myself Miss Kayla! I did it!" In all the time I've known her this was the first time I had ever heard her say she was proud of herself. What a powerful statement! She worked for something and achieving her goal was able to give her both dignity and pride in herself.
Although there were several things about the ceremony that touched me, it was one of the speeches that convicted me to the core. The gentleman speaking said, "You are from the wrong side of town. You've heard it all before. 'Nothing good comes from North Tulsa,' but today I challenge you to continue moving forward. Get that high school diploma, move on to college, & come back with a degree in hand. Then you can look at all of us & say 'Look at me now!'" Wow! What a shift in perspective. This man took the negative and made it a positive. It is not about where you come from BUT where you are GOING. Contact's kids are going somewhere! And it is our job to stand behind them.
Someday I pray that we have kids that come back and teach in the poverty stricken schools in Tulsa. I also pray that we have kids that come back & work alongside our team of ministers at Contact. Contact kids that will someday be adults will have an ability that I will never have... an ability to understand life in the projects. If I stay in this ministry for fifty years I will never fully understand the life the Contact kids live... I haven't lived it. However, I can love the kids with all I've got. I can show up at their schools & support them in every aspect of their lives. I can encourage them to block out others & only listen to the voice of their Father; the voice of truth.
I look forward to the day when kids will come back & say "Look at me now Miss Kayla! Look at what God did in my life!" These kids have potential that blows me out of the water. They simply need people... teachers, ministers, friends, etc. standing behind them. Like myself, they need someone to believe in them. My most important job as a minister is to love with everything I have & loving with everything I have means pushing these kids to reach their full potential. When God is for us who can be against us? I am excited about this summer & the things that the Lord will accomplish. I rejoice for the graduations that have taken place & I thank God for the many people who have touched the kids this year. I will continue to pray for the teachers, administration, volunteers, & ministers that are desperately trying to speak truth into the lives of kids in inner city Tulsa.
Thank you Lord for the successes we have experienced this semester. Thank you for the hearts of our sweet kids. I am continually humbled when the kids glorify you. A few weeks ago I watched as a 6 year old dug change out of his pocket to give in the collection plate. Thank you for allowing me to witness these moments of faith. Thank you for putting me at Contact & letting me be a part of something so much bigger than I can imagine. Continue to bless us & teach us how to better convey your love.
Proverbs 1:2-5 "For attaining wisdom & discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young- let the wise listen & add to their learning let the discerning get guidance."