Family Time is an opportunity one or twice a month where youth and mentors have a chance to sit down over some food and connect about life. Most often Family Time is held at a local restaurant and appetizers are provided through donation.

Last week we kicked off our first Family Time by going to Ranchito Grill. We took seven youth and their mentors to enjoy appetizers and sodas. Throughout the night we talked about what youth were celebrating in their lives, what has been difficult, and how we as a family can support one another. The night was full of laughter and transparency.

This time reminds me of when John explains incarnation by stating “the word became flesh and dwelt among them” (John 1:14). God isn’t interested in having a distant relationship with His people where He catches up with them every now again. His desire is to have a consistent and intimate relationship with us, to do life with us.

As people that reflect Christ, we want to do life together. Doing life together is about sharing more than just a learning experience. We want to live in a manner where we aren’t just catching up, but we are sharing life. Sharing life means sharing time, energy, meals, and stories with one another. It means being vulnerable and transparent. It means living among one another.

This can be incredibly difficult. When you do life with someone you get to see them better, you get to actually know them compared to knowing about them. Instead of just seeing their burdens, you experience them with them. You see their pain and grief. But doing life together can also be incredibly rewarding. Through sorrow you see joy. Through pain you see healing.

Doing life together can also be difficult because people are not God. God’s promises are sure, He never fails or disappoints us. He is always good and faithful. People on the other hand can hurt us. They can disappoint us, just as we can disappoint them.

Due to these factors, and many more, doing life together requires trust. Both parties must be willing to let their guard down. They must accept the failures of others and allow God to work through those inadequacies to draw them closer first to Him, and second to each other.

I am so thankful for these youth and their strength to trust us after so much of their lives have shown them the dangers of doing so. I look hopefully into the future knowing that God is able to use this time to facilitate real growth and true healing.

~ Crystal Rexius, Program Coordinator

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