Aside from picking up the dead at night, I also attempt to raise broken youth at The Parkesburg Point Youth Center.
Right now I’m working with a young girl who was raped by her father when she was eleven. Raped by her father. At the age of eleven. And — with these young people — crimes of this severity committed against them aren’t abnormal. Some have been prostituted by their parents for drugs. Let me say that again: their parents allowed grown men to rape their children in exchange for a temporary high. Others live with their cousins, grandmothers, aunts because their parents simply didn’t want them.
And on Tuesdays and Thursdays I am there for them. Whether it’s playing them in ping-pong or listening to their story, I’m there … practicing the ministry of presence.
This past week I talked to the young girl who had been raped. She’s under professional care. And I’m not a professional councilor. But, I like to listen.
“How far ahead can you imagine your future?”, I asked.
“Not far.”, she said.
“What do you see in your future?” I asked.
“I see suicide.”
“Do you see college, a career, a family … ?”
“No.”, she said. ”All I see is death.”
And I just sat in the quiet of her answer, letting it fill the room with it’s darkness and my soul with it’s pain.
I finally responded, “I see more than death.”
At this point she looked up and made eye contact with me. I was about to speak life into her death and she knew it.
“I see freedom. I see you living and overcoming your darkness. I see you graduating high school. I see you going to college. I see you finding someone who will treat you like a princess … a man who will encourage you and love you for who you are.” And then (because this organization believes that God has something to say to these situations), I said, “I believe God is dreaming you a future.”
That conversation was the first of many that I’ll have with her over the next couple months.
As she left, I asked her to re imagine her future. To create a different future and be ready to tell me an alternate story in our next conversation.
This is what I do at night. In addition to being a funeral director, I’m also the part-time associate director at The Point, where I work with my best bud, Dwayne Walton (he’s the executive director).
Anyways, we just bought a building … a new building where our ability to provide educational and career opportunities for these youth will greatly expand.
And here’s the video about our new building.