By Rev. Robert Holliday
Adult Counselor from St. James United Methodist Church’s Ministry through Education, Training, Referral and Outreach (METRO) Center in Tucson, AZ
Editor’s Note: This was first published in our 2015 Annual Newsletter in December, 2015. We believe in the power of SSP to continue to change lives, and we hope you do, too. Please consider making a donation today.
I’m not sure how many of you have ever been in trouble or facing consequences of making a poor choice; more than just me, I would suspect. Most successful people have been given second chances. But what about those young people who, for whatever reason, don’t get that second chance?
The METRO Center is a faith-based nonprofit organization that works in the highest poverty and crime neighborhoods in Tucson, AZ. We give young people a second chance, and in doing so reinforce their commitment to excellence and service, not because they have to, but because they want to. By God’s grace and the generosity of others, our young people were given one of those chances at SSP last July.
By God’s grace and the generosity of others, our young people were given one of those chances at SSP last July.
It was incredible to see the interaction between young people from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. They worked, ate, laughed, and even prayed together. What a blessing to see both churched and unchurched young people build a greater understanding of what the Body of Christ really is.
Volunteers from Tsaile Week 2 pray before a meal on Adventure Wednesday.
Many from The METRO Center have never been out of their own neighborhood, but when they went to Canyon de Chelly, they got to see the beauty of God’s creation beyond their wildest imaginations. As they worked with other young people to improve the quality of life in Tsaile, they developed an appreciation for their own home environments. The personal impact of giving themselves in service to others was incredible. As we drove back to Tucson, some of them actually began taking about next year!