In our May 2016 report entitled, “Violence Solves Nothing,” we shared the story of a high school senior named Sergio who was struggling to manage his violent emotions. He was throwing things, screaming, and threatening those who spoke harshly or negatively with him.

 

Unfortunately, violence was commonplace in his home to a certain degree: His brother was kicked out of school for it, his sister was suspended from Kids Klub because of it, and Sergio had the police called to their house for the very same reason.

 

In that May 2016 issue, Pastor Rob wrote, “I had a long talk with Sergio about the importance of love and forgiveness (with God and with man), self-control, humility and family responsibility. We would like to say that it was like a light turned on for the first time with a huge change of heart for Sergio, but it was more like a deflated, “I know…I know…I know” reaction of a young man obviously struggling.”

 

UPDATE: Although Sergio had been struggling, praise the Lord he didn’t just “give in” to his anger. He continued to manage it while Pastor Rob taught him positive ways to deal with his strong emotions “in the moment.”  Over time, we started to notice an improvement in Sergio’s attitude and reactions to others around him who bullied him.

 

Eventually, Sergio wanted to be in some form of leadership at Kids Klub so he could give back in some way. Pastor Rob gave him some responsibilities he felt he could handle under supervision and he did well.  Every now and then he would have his moments, but overall, he was definitely improving.

 

One day, Sergio came to Kids Klub with bad news: His sister had been arrested for something drug-related near the border of Mexico.  It was another frustrating event for their family, but surprisingly it seemed to help motivate him toward a better life and brighter future.  Instead of getting down and discouraged as he usually did,  he continued to show up for Kids Klub and help serve during the program. After noticing some questionable things being posted on his Facebook page, Pastor Rob confronted Sergio in love and explained to him that he wasn’t just a leader at Kids Klub; he was a leader in every area of his life, so he needed to be setting a good and positive example for others to follow.  Sergio said he hadn’t really thought of that, but the more Pastor Rob talked to him, the more it began to register.  Soon afterwards, Sergio began to take that title of “leader” much more seriously.

 

It was shortly thereafter that Sergio began attending a local outreach church because he was hungry to hear more about Jesus from the Word of God. He got involved in the church’s food pantry ministry, feeding the poor in his area, and helping with their youth ministry.  Having more of Jesus in his life was exactly what Sergio needed!  His compassion continued to grow, his Facebook posts were encouraging to others, and he didn’t give as many menacing looks to the kids who bullied him. Instead, he would make a joke that would get them to reconsider their actions.

 

This past June, Sergio graduated from high school and his plan is to work part-time while attending community college. Despite the fact he’s always struggled with his grades, he’s determined to do something important with his life for the glory of Jesus Christ!

 

After working with Sergio and his family for eight years, we’re beyond thrilled to see how much he has grown and matured. It’s not every day we see huge transformations like this, so it’s been encouraging for us to see this as well.  Please pray for Sergio, his family, and his future.  And thank you for standing with us as we reach out, in Jesus’ name, to the hurting and the lost.  Until next month, God bless you and yours.