By Katie Campbell, City Life
My favorite thing about City Life is how it becomes a second home to the students. Some of them will say “This is my second home.” Others you can tell by their attendance records.
One day I was leaving work at the City Life Center and was on my way to meet with one of the students. As I was walking to the car, four of the student leaders told me they had to go help another student, Aaron, because he was going to get jumped. Before I could convince them to wait, they took off.
I started driving through the streets looking for Aaron. After a few streets, I saw a very sad and angry Aaron with a compassionate Alex walking calmly next to him convincing him that it was a bad idea to seek revenge. I pulled up next to them and tried to get Aaron to get in the car but he was too overcome by emotion. Then four of the student leaders joined Alex to comfort Aaron. “I’m just so tired of getting bullied. This isn’t fair, they pick on me every day and I’m too tired to take it” he screams.
Ana takes the stick from his hand and the group changes his path from going toward the fight to heading back to the Center. I drove slowly beside them. Alex places his hand on Aaron’s shoulder and reminds him that he is loved. Another student reassured Aaron that he would pick him up from school tomorrow.
You see, if this is a family, I’d be like the big sister or the mama type of thing. And it was so beautiful to me that I wasn’t needed. These guys loved Aaron, they spoke truth to him, and they made him feel loved all because that treatment was extended to them.
One of the other students said, “If Jesus had not changed my life I would have probably been the one picking on Aaron, but because of Jesus we are friends.”
Aaron has had a tough life. He has been through a lot. These guys have welcomed him into the family without hesitation. He comes to City Life almost every day.
As we were driving away from the situation one of the girls said “We gave him a big bear hug. See, it doesn’t matter that we are not related by blood — WE ARE FAMILY.”