As we started middle school camp last week, one of leaders prayed that our students would get “to feel just a taste of family.” It made me tear up then, but by the end of the week after several conversations, that sentiment became more of a goal than a just a phrase.

I was adopted into an awesome family – two parents, a sister (and for more than half my life, a brother-in-law) – who loved Jesus, loved me and taught me how to follow God and love people. 

I spent a week with students whose homes are broken.
Whose parents make them feel like a mistake.
Whose dad’s have done more harm than protection.
Whose mom’s forget them.
Who feel completely alone.

One of my co-workers said it best when he said that it makes you feel blessed, and then almost a bit guilty to have grown up in such a great situation.

“A taste of family” – something the kids I work with desperately need because the people they know are less like “family” and more like people they happen to share DNA with. I don’t have any happy wrap up or even a “moral of the story.” I’m mostly just frustrated and sad. I hate watching these kids have to face something that isn’t their fault and makes them hurt so much. I pray they get that “taste of family” every time they interact with my church – the kind of family that loves them and doesn’t hurt them and is there for them and doesn’t abandon them.

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