One of the greatest things we get to do at Grace Landing is make remarkable impact on the loves of the young men we work with. One of those such impacts came at Christmas this year.
One of youth, whom we will call KV to protect his identity, has been with us all for almost two years. Throughout the time KV has been at Grace Landing, he has been on track, focused and accomplishing the tasks in front of him. He has been working 30-40 hours a week and has been maintaining a full class schedule at Valencia. Not only has he been enrolled at Valencia, but he has kept a ‘B’ average in his classes.
The road wasn’t always an easy one for KV. He came to us homeless, without any family support, no job prospects, no education and no contacts to help him. As soon as he came to Grace Landing, he hit the ground running and began to spend hours each day looking for a job. After about nine months, he was finally able to find a job. All throughout the process of looking for a job, he enrolled at Valencia.
The biggest obstacle KV had in front of him was an issue of transportation. And like always, Juda began think, plan and pray to see how Grace Landing could help KV to overcome this obstacle. And of course, she found a way to overcome it. Jim Bauknight, who has been a long-time partner of Grace Landing, stepped up and was willing to help Grace Landing make this dream become a reality. So at our annual Christmas party, we presented KV with his own car. That’s right. We were able to give KV the keys to his own car.
It is not possible to describe with words the look on his face when he realized what was taking place. Sheer and utter joy accompanied by uncontrollable thanks and appreciation. KV was stunned and speechless. It is times like this, we are reminded of the real reason we do what we do at Grace Landing. Being able to step into the lives of the young men (and women) we work with and to know we have made a definable difference in their lives. To know God has used us to be his hands and feet in the lives of these often-forgotten youth is a reward beyond measure.
This isn’t the end of the story though. Now comes the ‘grown up’ part. KV now needs to be responsible for the car, repairs and maintenance, car insurance and the responsibility of using his new car in a constructive and beneficial way.
We are thankful God and his servants like Jim who make it possible for us to step into the lives of youth like KV and make a significant impact.