Julian is 11 years old. He lives with his mother, Jackie, his older brother Logan, 17, and his little sister, Maya, 6. Julian, Logan, and Maya each have different dads, none of whom are involved in their lives or pay child support. The kids might hear from one of their fathers a few times per year via text or, on the rare occasion, a phone call, but there is no real connection. Jackie frequently enters into dating relationships with men who move into the home for a period of time, but inevitably move out after a number of months.
Jackie’s father was not around when she was growing up. She dropped out of high school at 16, and has a history of drug abuse. She is currently clean and works at a nearby restaurant as a server in an attempt to support herself and her children, but the pandemic hit the restaurant hard. Although she has held this full-time position for 3 years, she is still only receiving part-time hours post-pandemic and struggles each month to make ends meet. Her energies are focused on daily (sometimes hourly) survival for herself and her children.
Julian spends most of his time at home, scrolling on his phone or playing video games, often staying up until 5:00am on weekends and 2:00am on school nights. He is irritable and falls asleep in school on a regular basis, and often erupts in angry outbursts at classmates. He is already looking at pornography on a daily basis. Despite being intelligent and capable, he has not turned in any homework assignments in his last three months of school. He frequently convinces his mom to let him skip school on Fridays. Julian has no goals for his future and already talks of dropping out of school. If something doesn’t interrupt this family’s life, the generational pattern will continue.
Imagine if this family was surrounded by a mentorship and support team made up of pastors, community members, school staff, coaches, and mental health professionals all focused on lifting this family up in the name of Jesus. Their social and professional networks would be expanded, social, emotional, and spiritual needs would be met, and their vision would shift from human-sized to God-sized!
“Where there is no vision, the people perish” Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)