Jul 15, 2009

An end to anger

I was speaking about the ministry with someone interested the other day. She asked if I had success stories. I asked what she meant and she said, "You know... people who get off the street." Yes, street youth often get off the street. However, it is rare for me to hear from them since one of the things that almost always happens is that they move away from the UT Drag area to someplace more wholesome for them.

However, recently a client name "Adam" returned after more than a year absence. It took me about 30 minutes to even remember his name although I recognized his face right away. It was a pleasure to talk with him and reconnect.

He enlisted in one of the armed forces branches and went through a year of training. He proudly showed me his state ID, his military ID, and his community college ID. He's been taking advantage of military tuition credit to work on a college degree also! Wow!

Adam now has a few months off before deployment. He's not looking forward to deployment but recognizes it as part of the deal he made. The armed services have invested heavily in him, giving him training, a monthly salary, education credits, and even a large bonus.

It was so wonderful to hear Adam describe getting a short term lease in Austin for his stay and seeing him use his contacted cell phone (a fancy one) to get calls from his new friends.

I discussed how he should watch out for his money, especially the bonus money. We looked up CD rates and discussed strategies for keeping part of it put away for the future and only using part of it for now. He was so at home with these ideas. Much has changed!

I finally asked him what the armed forces has done for him that mattered most. He told me that he has finally let go of the anger in his life! Adam did plenty of bad things while on the street but it all seemed to be driven by anger. During training, he had to get used to people telling him what to do and develop a healthy way of responding to discipline. "At first, I didn't want anyone to tell me what to do. But they really beat the anger out of me... not really beat me... but they took it out of me."

It was so good to see a client who has definitely made some tough decisions for his life, who has stepped up to the honor and sacrifice of serving our country, and who returned to share the joy of an improving life with people who helped him along the way!