We see them. We stare at them. We judge them. We pray for them. We turn our eyes away. We may even feel sorry for them…homeless teens. They must be rebellious “bad kids” who take drugs, drink, are promiscuous, and don’t want any rules. Right???? Wait! We have no clue what these kids have lived and are living. We judge them by the outside, but don’t know what is hurting inside. Why? Because it is just easier that way, huh?
There are now about 1.7 million homeless teens in America today. 1.7 million!! Now for some details and reasons they are out there…46% of them are from abusive homes. A huge amount of them have run away from foster homes. A growing number are kids who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transsexual and are rejected by their own families. Kids as young as 10 are running away from abusive homes.
If we took the time to listen to them or even to look in their eyes, we would recognize the issues of abuse, abandonment, rejection, betrayal, great fear, insecurity and hard core anger. They are out of their homes and end up on the street looking for safety, security, and finding where they belong now. At the mission? a youth center? under a bridge? couch surfing at friends’ house? at a park? Where?????
Girls, and sometimes guys, can get caught up in human trafficking because someone told them they would take care of this hurting teen. These hurtful adults are in malls, at the bus station, in a park and near schools. “Hi Beautiful. You look sad. Are you okay? Let me buy you some food.” It begins there.
Drugs and alcohol can deaden the pain for awhile, but then that pain comes back and it eventually takes more and more, until it turns into an addiction. There are many who would LOVE to help kids “deaden the pain.” They are called drug dealers.
There are more and more teens headed to the streets now and I believe we need to step up and get involved in ministries who surround these hurting young people, and show them the love of Jesus in practical ways, so they can get off the streets and learn to live a healthy lifestyle. There are many ministries for teens out there. What if you looked up on the net which ones you could contribute to or help in tangible ways. Let’s let our hearts get engaged and reach out to these wandering teens. It’s our turn!
This week on Chained No More Talk Radio, we will have Al Gaines as a guest, discussing “From Gang Member to Reaching Homeless Teens.” Al came from a very violent home, lived on the streets, took drugs and became a drug dealer before finding the Lord. He used what he experienced from his past life to begin to reach out to hurting teens, and now is the Youth Guidance Leader for a large youth center. Listen to this amazing man on Tuesday, March 29 at 2pm ET on www.toginet.com. You will be blown away and blessed!
Open your eyes and open your heart and open your arms…these teens need to see the love of Jesus extended to them and find out how to rise from the devastation they have lived.