Being Thankful in the Face of Poverty

After one week of service through the AmeriCorps program at Cloud & Fire YouthBuild, one young man’s life has been forever impacted by his volunteer experience.  17-year-old Brandon recently began his AmeriCorps service at the san Fernando Valley Union Rescue Mission, where he helps prepare and serve meals, does some construction work, and plays with kids staying at the shelter.

Brandon’s heart broke for the kids in his community growing up in intense poverty.  Overcome with emotion, he came to Friday Night Church with a burden for these young ones weighing on his heart, and was able to process with some adults at Cloud & fire.  He himself is an at-risk individual, working to earn his high school diploma at Cloud & fie, but helping kids in more desperste places is teaching him gratitude and empowering him to make a difference in his neighborhood.

Read on as Brandon shares his heart about the time he’s spent so far at the Rescue Mission:

How was your first week of service at the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission?

It was great! I met everyone and they told me what I’ll be working on.  I got to prepare the meals, serve the meals, I did some remodeling and construction work, and in the afternoon I got to play with the kids.

What are you learning so far?

Well, I’m gaining experience and learning how it feels to have a job.  I’m also learning to be thankful for what I have, because seeing the kids come in who have nothing, not even a home to call their own, really gets to me.  I’m glad I’m working there, helping the commuity, and I know I am there to love the kids, to offer them a smile.

Do you have a story from that first week? 

The first day, the kids didn’t know me and were kind of looking at me like, ‘who are you?’  But after that I really felt a connection with the kids, and I look forward to seeing them and they look forward to seeing me.  If they need help with homework, I was there to help them, if they want to play, I was there to play.

Do you have any prayer requests?

I ask prayer for strength to keep working and not to stress out or be too sad.  And pray for the kids, for them to have a better life.

Thank you Brandon!

At Cloud & Fire we strive to raise up leaders within the community who have God’s heart for this neighborhood.  Please pray for Brandon as he engages in this opportunity to improve his community.

Read more about AmeriCorps Community Service at Cloud & Fire YouthBuild!*** Originally Posted: