Christmas Behind Bars

Posted on by YFC Lincoln

When I was a kid, I couldn't wait for Christmas to arrive. My mom played Santa, but I didn't know it was her. It was a time of magic; things we wanted appeared sometime during the night. We could hardly sleep, hoping we'd catch Santa. It was a time of family gatherings and food and nothing could steal our joy. I know for some, especially adults, Christmas is a time of loneliness and depression, but as a kid, you just didn't feel that. 

However, working at the Detention Center has really opened my eyes to the different world for these kids. Some of them have no family or special moments where any kind of magic ever happens. The longing for it is there, but the reality is not. No one will be showing up to deliver the gifts they ask for. And when we ask the students what they would want for Christmas, it's always the same. They don't ask for things; they just want to be home. Even when home doesn't have the relationships they long for, it's still a deep desire for relationships. 

This is where our mentors come in. I am very proud of them as they pour into the lives of these kids and share a hope that fills the emptiness the kids would otherwise have. Our mentors play a big role in these kids' lives, connecting them to the One who can change everything for them, the One who came so long ago to bring us hope and a relationship. These kids will never forget what their mentors have done for them. I know this because some kids tell me so. 

This Christmas, please pray for these kids and their mentors.

Nate Kroll, JJM

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