Friday, February 13, 2009

Kids At Risk

Kids At Risk

This week has been a hard one in the Mission Adelante community. With a gang-related shooting taking place in front of M.E. Pearson Elementary school, the school that most of our kids attend, we are all extra aware of the dangers and challenges facing our youth. When I was young I remember that news traveled fast among students whenever there was going to be a fight after school. Sometimes the faculty would know about it by the end of the day. Other times they would find out only when they saw the group of curious students gathering in the designated place to watch the event. As we’ve talked with the “Leaders In Training” kids this week about the shooting we have learned a lot about what they experience everyday. Their knowledge of the gang scene and lingo is telling; they are exposed to it on a daily basis. Just as we used to hear the chatter about after-school fights, news travels through the middle school halls of in our neighborhood about rumored or real gang activity.

It was re-confirmed to me this week that kids are recruited for gangs during their years in elementary school; often in fifth grade, but sometimes even as early as second. So, there is the battle ground for Kids Adelante. Can we capture these kids while they’re young, teach them to love God, and give them a sense of belonging that will compete with what a gang might offer? I pray we can! For those of you who serve in Kids Adelante or LIT, whether with younger kids or older, you are a key link in their lives. The things they learn from you, the affirmation and love they receive from you is a big part of what it takes to immunize them against the tragic choices that they might have made. You are standing in the gap for them! You are making a difference! Thank you for serving! Thank you for giving! And, please pray for our kids this week.

Thank You,
Jarrett Meek

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