There have been distinct seasons in the life history of Youth-Reach. With no track record and no one willing to refer kids to what was just a rough concept, we began in late 1984 with the street kids we met while ministering hope on the streets of Montrose. For years, the boys and young men in the beds of our program were rough street urchins who loved to rebel and fight.
When word of our success and our ethos of providing care free-of-charge became known, we began to get kids referred to us by the courts of Harris and surrounding counties. With the emergence of the Internet, we began to receive kids from surrounding states, and to date we have had boys from every state in the nation.
For years we experienced all that angry, violent and rebellious boys could display. There was the constant simmering rage of rebellion. This was coupled with the tedious hormonal stew they were all transiting through on the way to adulthood. It was quite exciting and often, between times of terror, quite fun.
The season of teenage delinquency has tipped and given way to a new season; one marked not by addictions and rebellion, but by the damage that has been inflicted upon these boys. Already, in their young lives, many have experienced horrific abuse, soul-searing neglect, mind-torturing molestation, and grievous loss. For some, their natural inclination to trust their parents has been shattered, as those tasked with being their fierce guardians became the ones to inflict harm. So they only mete out trust in tiny, hopeful, yet cautious, increments. Some will never again trust, while others will practice that to trust is an earned right gifted only to those in their lives who have been steady and predictable.
So we face a strong challenge, as we have boys who view us through suspicious and even paranoid lenses, waiting for us to appear exploitative in any way. We have to walk out our days with strength coupled with humility. Never before have we had such tender boys, who seem to have QUIT written on their hearts. They are easily discouraged, accept defeat without a struggle, and see speed bumps as mountains impossible to scale.
This is where you come in. We are firmly convinced that without a powerful force of prayer aimed and focused on the hearts and minds of these boys, our feeble human efforts will blow away like ash in the wind. We also need your prayers for those of us who serve as staff members. For these boys, we are counselors, correctors, surrogate fathers, cooks, taxi drivers, educators, mentors and friends.
Can we count on you to pray? If you support Youth-Reach financially, we send out to you the Insider Report and there we include the names of the boys so that you can pray specifically for each one. Your well-aimed prayers are powerful and they are effective, and we are grateful for each instance when you lift up our boys and our efforts to the Lord.