God's Life-Changing Love
By Katherine Lyon
Child’s name changed for confidentiality.
When Micah first came to Youth Haven, it was a real struggle for him. His first experience was a day camp, and we nearly had to call his mom to come get him, as he ran away from his team leader again and again.
Micah’s adoptive mom shared his story with us, to help us understand how we could best help him. What she told us was shocking and heartbreaking. Micah came from a terrible environment, where he and his sister were abused and molested, sold to adults for temporary erotic pleasure as children. Their father was a drug lord, and would lock the kids up for days at a time. He also gave them shots of drugs to control their behavior. Once Micah was old enough, he found the drug money and used it to buy food for him and his sister.
When Micah was finally removed from that home, he was taken to foster home after foster home. Thankfully, he was eventually placed with the family that has now adopted him, and he has a forever home. He changed his first name in addition to his last name, because he wanted a whole new identity.
Micah’s traumatic past caused behavior difficulties, but upon hearing his story, our staff were determined to make his time at Youth Haven successful so he could hear the Gospel. After many long phone calls with his mom, we were able to develop a behavior management plan for him.
The “backpack” plan included his team leader carrying a backpack with different activities like play dough, puzzles, and books so that in more “competitive games,” he could go to the side and do these activities instead.
Micah became increasingly engaged in his Trailbook (Bible) with his team leaders. Although he had accepted Christ, he needed assurance almost every weekend he came. He became more and more excited about reading the Bible, and would come back to Youth Haven knowing all sorts of things he read independently.
Now, about 2 years later, Micah’s team leaders report that he is the “leader” of his teams, the best behaved, and helps others in their walk with God. With his love of the Word, Micah is a Christian leader... eager to become a cadet (teen volunteer) soon! Thank you for helping Micah experience God’s life-changing love at Youth Haven!