A Full Circle Story…
You’ve probably heard the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child.” I don’t disagree, but I’d like to add it takes the body of Christ to build resilient faith in a teenager. Fuller Youth Institute recognizes, “each young person is greatly benefited when surrounded by a team of five adults.” This finding begs the question, in what ways does a young person “benefit”? Supporting research from Dr. Bruce Perry shows the more connectedness a youth has, the better their mental health is. Another study done by The Barna Group identified “positive correlations between teens’ overall wellbeing and having mentors and supportive community.”
Recently I’ve seen these statistics in real life through Gary’s story and I have been awakened to how active God is in connecting his Body. Originally, Gary was referred by a local mental health social worker to Full Circle last spring. As the Full Circle adult volunteer team has invested in relationship with him over the past half year, he has slowly let his walls down to reveal his hurts and dreams. Now as he stands in the battle with his depression, he has someone to reach out to as the darkness tries to consume him. By both actions and words expressed by leaders, Gary knows he is loved without strings and has a purpose.
Yet support for Gary goes beyond the nine committed adult leaders. It extends to a local youth pastor who frequently collaborates with us on how we can support Gary best and offers a space for Gary to process his questions about God. It extends to a caring youth group leader who invites him to work out together and use his energy in a positive way, as well as challenges him to regularly read the Bible with him. And not to be missed, The Body includes a loving social worker who helps meet Gary’s basic needs and YOU who faithfully prays for Gary and other teenagers like him. The Body is extensive. The Body encourages, especially as one part grows weary. The Body is essential in transforming the lives of teenagers.
Grateful for you,
Sara Miller-Full Circle Coordinator