“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man
a more clever devil.” – C.S. Lewis
This quote from C.S. Lewis aptly describes the uniqueness of Urban Impact’s ministry, particularly with the young people in our community!
It is not enough to simply provide kids education in itself, but it is our responsibility to couple the morals, ethics and values (that we believe God created) along with education, in order for education to truly influence our young people in a positive way. Encouraging students as they develop Godly values can be such a vital step in truly transforming struggling urban neighborhoods.
Here is an example, from one of our summer interns (Justin) from last year’s summer program:
Stephen was a 2nd grader assigned to Justin’s class for the summer, and immediately Justin could tell that he was going to be a handful.
Stephen came from a really broken family where his father was absent, and his mother was obviously overly stressed as well. As a result, Stephen was left to fend for himself and really lacked the kind of positive adult influences in his life that any 7-year-old needs!
In the first week of the camp, Stephen really struggled. He struggled relationally in interacting with the other kids, and he lacked problem-solving skills and academic skills. He had poor social awareness and a low estimation of his own self-esteem and confidence.
Justin decided to pursue a mentoring relationship with Stephen, and as the weeks went on, Justin really began to form a good bond with Stephen. Stephen began to see Justin as a big brother that he never had. In fact, he followed Justin around everywhere!
Throughout the camp, Justin interacted with Stephen about God, life, family, school, and even goals and dreams for his future.
Stephen really opened up to Justin and even expressed how much he wants to do better and perhaps even be able to go to college someday!
After the camp, Stephen’s mother reported that he couldn’t stop talking about Justin and that he really missed him.
Since then, the two have continued to stay in touch.
Education needs to be coupled with Godly morals, ethics and values! These two really blessed each other in their own special way.
This story illustrates well, how vital it is to provide urban youth with opportunities not only in academic support, but also opportunities for mentorship. It also shows how important our internship program is in providing the young people in our community the opportunity to develop in ministry and leadership.
Liberty Road Foundation’s generosity & partnership in our internship program this year means a lot to us and to our neighbors here in the Rainier Valley. We are thankful for the love, prayers, and support in helping us to break the cycle of social, material and spiritual poverty in urban neighborhoods!