I met Salena when she asked me to do her hair for 5th graduation. That simple request launched a relationship that completely changed my life and Salena’s. A natural mentorship grew between me and this 4-foot firecracker.
But around 12, Salena’s carefree existence turned dark. Domestic violence, molestation, and alcoholism darkened her path. She shut herself off from God and told me she wasn’t sure if she could trust Someone who could let her live this way.
But Salena never cut herself off from us. She continued coming to City Life KIX programs and meeting with me. God ended the domestic violence and abuse in her life, and healed her mother after a life-threatening car accident. My local church got involved in her family’s life at that time by meeting practical needs. Soon, Salena started coming to church nearly every week, even though she was not a Christian.
This year Salena is a senior, and in March, at camp, she decided she wanted in – she wanted to follow Jesus. Seven years of prayers answered in one life-changing moment at camp.
Since then, it’s been amazing to see her grow in Christ! She is excited about getting baptized and is thinking about which friends to invite to the service. “I keep telling people I love them. What is wrong with me?” she said with a smile. I told her that kind of thing happens after you trust Christ.
Living life alongside Salena drew me closer to Jesus, and our relationship pulled her closer to God as well. God was working in her life for years; He never left her in all her struggles. In her college essays, Salena has said that she would not be where she is today without YFC and her church. But the truth is, we would not be who we are without Salena! Stories like her remind us that God’s love is one that is faithful, never gives up, and leaves 99 for the 1.