“I Don’t Think I’ll Live to be 16…”

This article is from the blog of a woman who runs one of the Inner City food banks that networks with our WCCM “Thrive” humanitarian relief program.

It’s a warzone out there….

For the first time ever I had a hard time leaving my “work” at work last night. My heart was broken to the point I couldn’t even think without bursting into tears, I came home and when I was alone in a quiet place, I just begged God to calm my heart but the tears wouldn’t stop coming, there has been a shooting every night this week in our district and it’s really hitting close to home. Last night, I had planned to talk to the girls about disrespect, and I did to a point, but God lead my heart in another direction. I wanted to know more about the lives my girls live, I wanted to know what they were thinking about whats going on in their neighborhood, how they coped, what they were thinking. I got truth, honesty, real honest from the heart answers from these girls. Some of their responses included:

“It’s like a war zone out there…”
“The world is ending…”
“I don’t think I’ll live to be 16…”
“I just bow my head and hope to goodness they don’t kill me…”

I asked about the gang violence and found out that one of my girls has been and continues to be in gang fights, she’s been hurt pretty badly, which is why she’s stopped coming to Metro Kidz, I found out that the girls are harassed on a regular basis to join gangs and when they tell them their not interested they hope to walk away alive.

I found out that there have been time after time when the knock at the door at 3 a.m. is homicide investigating a murder on the block. That they have to concentrate at school while rival gangs are dukin’ it out in the hallway.

I knew in my heart this stuff was all real, but it didn’t become 100% real to me until I heard the fear in my kids voices. Even the boys, last night there was a shooting in the neighborhood while we were signing kids in and so I drove a lot of the kids home, one of the boys said, “Miss Colleen, thanks for driving me home, I was scared…” this kid is one of the toughest kids who comes to Metro Kidz, it broke my heart that a “tough” had to admit his fear and while I knew it was a good thing…it still hurt. It hurt to watch these kids finally open up…but this is what I have been praying for. I just want to know why I am so blessed…

Read the rest of the article at Colleen’s Charm City Blog

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