It was a far cry from our typical loud, laughter-filled van routes home. This night was different and we all felt it. When we arrived at her apartment, Jasmine made her solemn exit, and the silence loomed over the remaining students. Eventually Blake broke the silence with this unconvincing statement, “After losing about 15 people in the past 5 years, I’ve stopped caring about anyone dying.”
You see, earlier that day, Jasmine and the rest of the neighborhood found out about another shooting. He was a father of 5 and was also one of Jasmine’s cousins. She had decided to stay at City Life that night but understandably hadn’t spoken to a single person. Every student knew what had happened and respectfully handled the matter, but the most telling event of the evening was Blake’s statement.
This is where the street mentality tries to trump the real pains and emotions of life. Losing 15 people in 5 years seems unthinkable, yet this is his reality: the reality of how closely gun violence touches the daily lives of our students. The reality of trying to numb yourself to the loss of life because it happens too often.
Blake has not yet decided to follow Jesus, but still chooses to come to City Life regularly. Please join us in praying for the safety and salvation of our beloved students.
-Cassie Christensen, YFC City Life KIX Site Director, West Homestead
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