Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New Series! Woot!

I've been wanting to do some posts about Ryves Youth Center (where I used to work) for some time now, but I was totally at a loss at how to do it. How do you do justice to something that changes your life like that? How do you make it real to other people? So here goes...

I have a video for you all to watch. It's footage of the Christmas party in 2007 (I didn't even make the one this year due to ice and Frank's dad's health that day.) and the director of Catholic Charities for the archdiocese put it on YouTube, so I'm going to assume it's okay to share! I'm going to ask the director at Ryves when I see him this week, too, just to make sure. I'm pretty protective of the kiddos. Anyway, I want you to watch carefully and if you want to, you can give me your impressions of what you see in the comments section. If you're reading this in Facebook, you can always leave your comments there, too. I'm just curious to see what you think. If you have questions, please ask! Then I'm going to follow up this video with some stories about the people that I see in the video. I'm not going to tell you who is who, just general stories that are real and hopefully present a snapshot of what poverty in my part of the world looks like.

I will admit that I grew up knowing that the poor existed around me and that I mostly had the best of intentions wanting to help any and all people, but often I was quick to judge those in poverty and looked down on them without making any effort to know them as people God loves as much as he loves me. People in need made me very uncomfortable. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know what to say. I didn't know how I could help, so it was easier to ignore the whole thing, even though I knew the Bible teaches otherwise. My first day at Ryves I was pretty much scared to death, but I knew it was job straight from God. And so the learning began. I still have a lot to learn; I am not an expert by any means...but I hope that these stories might open at least one pair of eyes to the reality of poverty here in America and make one person a little less afraid to LIVE those teachings we hear so often at church. I didn't even know my eyes were closed. But now that they are open, I see many Christians who are walking around blind and simply don't know where to get corrective surgery. I may be at home these days with my own kids instead of with the kids at the youth center, but this blog seems to be a new opportunity to encourage other Christians to be more like the Good Samaritan and less like the priest or Levite (See Luke chapter 10). If all else fails, it will be a good reminder to myself...sometimes I find myself bumping into walls, searching for my glasses....so thank God for grace...

4 comments:

sherri said...

okay, my heart is overwhelmed with love for this people. Tell their stories. Thank you for being who you are in the lives of the neediest of men.

God bless you and your work.

Pam said...

I've never seen so many kids in one place that had so much "life" written on their faces... This video really touched me and I would love to hear their stories. Thank you for sharing this, Beth.

Helen said...

Some looked so sad at that party. An average day must be really tough on them.

katdish said...

Beth,

How did I miss this? I think it's all too easy (especially where I live) to pretend poverty is far away and someone else's problem. It is everyone's problem, and the church needs to set a better example of doing for "the least of these".