The last time I spoke out of my perspective regarding Hosea Youth Services, the word that came to my mind was, change. Change of the season, change in going back to school, and change of perspective. Today at Hosea, I think we encounter a new type of change. What we some times take for granted with the transition in seasons, is that most of us live inside. It’s one of those concepts I thought very very few us didn’t experience, until I realized working with Hosea that some of my very favorite people in the world were within those very few. You see, my first thoughts of cooler weather times are football, crisp air, honey crisp apples, hot coffee, routine, and maybe even the popular taste and scent of pumpkin spice. I get so excited about this change, that I can barely wait for it to come. Then, this year in particular, reality has hit me in a new way.

Not only are some of my dearest of friends, not excited about this weather change, but in fact they’re dreading it. Because not only does the cold weather bring on popsicle life (where your top half is frozen, and you can’t feel your bottom half) but it brings up old habits that we have tried to let die hard over the last three months. There’s nothing like overcoming temptation, only to have it thrown in our face immediately after we feel like we’re just finally starting to get healthy. But this is why I love doing what we do in Hosea, because we have the privilege of not only serving, but having our realities criss cross with those who would be considered the least of these. It’s beautiful to work with people like Tauna and Karri who have been scratching, clawing, and ultimately learning the best ways to advocate for our friends on the street. One thing I’ve learned just in being around Tauna, that once she gets an idea of what MUST be done, you better get out of the way, and let her bring it to the forefront, and that’s what we did this last week in the drop-in, regarding the topic of change in weather, and circumstance.

Instead of waiting for winter to come and getting hit like a ton of bricks, Tauna wanted us as a team to address the coming seasonal changes up front. What our God has allowed us in Hosea to brace for and see in the past, wasn’t going to allow this team to stand by the wayside ONE MORE TIME. We can’t change the weather, we can’t ensure these kids don’t run back to the comforts in the misery of addiction, but WITH the love of Christ we can and will continue to address the realities that came before and are coming again, and rapidly. So we talked, and it was uncomfortable, but that love that says that these kids are worth it couldn’t remain silent. There is more power in coming together as a unit to brace for the storm, than each individual doing it alone. The response of our youth was that of, “I’m always here for you if you’re struggling.” Together, is the only way we can band together to face our trials, and getting together starts with one less person holding their tongue. One less person must stop falling in line. Sometimes it only takes one to make the rallying cry that brings the room together.

Sometimes I have to pinch myself to remember that I actually get to do what I do. That we literally serve those in which Christ says we serve Him in doing so. The rapid transformation of my own heart in the midst of watching others be transformed, far surpasses anything I could ever hope and dream for. I’m so thankful for the leadership I have seen, and the leadership I get to put forth in the process. It reminds me of the purpose I am anointed with, EVEN IN the midst of every single doubt, and with that the even greater purpose that WE are anointed with.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

~ Zach Leiken, HYS Staff

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