As the administrator for SouthSide Community Church I would occasionally interact with the staff at the Youth Outreach pre-COVID (fun fact: we share the same building space but we’re different organizations). Several months ago the aftermath of COVID really did a number on me and I was in a bad place mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as I’m sure many of us were.
We have eight core values here at SSYO that we believe are at the core of our mission to “build strong, young lives.” As an organization we are committed to: “Humility, Excellence, Grit, Collaboration, Innovation, Advancing Christ’s Kingdom, Family, and Integrity.” These are the values we hold as important here at SouthSide Youth Outreach. We strive to grow in not only these areas but many others as well.
I walked out onto the playground and immediately sensed something was wrong. Stacey* was hanging from the monkey bars with a nervous face while Kinsley* was shuffling her feet through the bark chips, her eyes searching the ground.
“Hey Kinsley, how’s it going?” I asked trying to discern what type of problem we were dealing with.
“Well, Stacey told Mary* that Mary is better friends with me than she is with her.” She said matter-of-factly. That’s when I saw her. Mary was up on the play structure, curled up in a ball face in her hands sobbing uncontrollably.
When I was a little boy, I remember many adults saying “it is better to give than to receive.” Later I learned that the Bible teaches the same thing. But in my younger years, I just couldn't comprehend how this could be true. How could it possibly be better to give away a new Nintendo video game console (my dream Christmas present at the time) than to get one?!? My pre-teenage self just couldn't understand it & thought it was complete nonsense.