Welcome Kids with Arms Wide Open

Kara Powell | Jan 24, 2011

I thought of our College Transition Project research as I was reading The Least of These by Ron Ruthruff. Lina Thompson, who teaches in our Urban Youth Ministry Certificate, recommended this book to me.

I enjoyed reading Rons writing and learning from his stories of interacting with the least of these. One story in particular echoed our Sticky Faith finding that kids need safe places to go when they (or after they) have struggled.

Ron writes about his work with a drop-in center near Seattle, Every time kids come in to drop-in they are celebratedwhether its their birthday or theyre just coming back in after being kicked out for an aggressive episode. Every time they are arrested, regardless of the crime, we visit them in jail. Young people know that they have a place to run to, a home.

Whether the kids you know are in jail literally or in the prison of adolescent self-image struggles, are you a safe place for them? Do they know that you will love them unconditionallywith no strings attached? Easier said than done, at least for me.

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


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