Did you know that at the core of many problems in our cities is a common thread? It’s called fatherlessness.
Here are the stats:
- Fatherless children are 4x more likely to live in poverty.
- 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
- 71% of teen moms come from fatherless homes.
- 90% of teens in gangs come from fatherless homes.
That’s why in August of this year my wife and I moved back to Chicago to be part of GRIP Outreach For Youth. For the last 5 years we’ve been passionate about fathering the fatherless, and deeply involved with GRIP–building Life-on-Life relationships with youth.
You see, GRIP takes a different approach to teen mentoring than you might traditionally think. It’s called “Life-on-Life” and it seeks to be more holistic. Rather than just spending a couple hours with a student in a program each week, a mentor is trained to be involved in every area of the teen’s life–at school, at home, at church, and in their community.
It’s this very mission that has led us back to Chicago to do Life-on-Life with youth. And I have the amazing privilege as the Marketing Communications Manager at GRIP to tell these stories of transformation. You can read some of them here.
My Life-on-Life Story
In fact, one of these stories comes from my own life when I met a young man named Steven. I met Steven 5 years ago, when he was a freshman in high school, and was the biggest Lebron James fan I’d ever met. Now, 5 years later, my wife and I have built a relationship with not only him, but his entire family. He graduated from high school 2 years ago and is now working and supporting his family.
I don’t tell you any of this to say, “Look at me. I’m so great and I’m an awesome mentor” because I’m not. I’ve grown as much if not more than Steven in the last 5 years. And that’s what Life-on-Life is all about. It’s about community. It’s about growing together in Christ. It’s not about having a messiah complex. It’s about living life the way that God intended, and doing what I’m called to do–defend the fatherless.
I also say all of this to ask for your prayers. It’s only through faithful prayers and generosity that we can continue to break the fatherless cycle. So if you it comes to mind over the next two weeks, please lift us up in prayer.
I also want to let you know that this ministry has a budgetary need before the New Year of $155,000! By God’s grace we’ve raised $93,200 but we still need $61,800 to fill our need. Meeting this need will empower us to continue defending the fatherless and connecting them with Life-on-Life mentors.
If you feel compelled to give before the New Year, you can do so by clicking here.Tweet