I don’t believe in coincidences
It’s true, I don’t believe in coincidences but in connections and opportunities created by our Creator. This morning was a perfect example.
I was honored to attend the Pastors and Leadership Breakfast, hosted by Cooperative Christian ministry. I walked into the room and began scanning the tables for a place to sit; I noticed a lady with a big smile and knew I found my seat. I sat down and Ms. Ruth Brooks introduced herself and her ministry, the Multicultural Community Student Union, serving underprivileged youth in Cabarrus County schools. Ms. Ruth has be doing this for 35 years, loving kids and their families and assisting them in anyway she can. Ruth then asked about me, I shared TODH and our mission to provide loving, supportive housing for youth aging out of foster care. What she said next confirmed my beliefs, or should I say lack thereof. When Ruth was 12 her mom died and her dad was not in her life; she was placed into foster care. Her foster family was not nice, in fact they were quite abusive. Keep in mind, this was 60 years ago, before systems were in place and in fact, it is the horror stories of the previous foster system that lead to all of the changes and implementations that we have now.
When Ruth turned 18 she has no family and no where to go, in other words Ruth aged out of the system. A wonderful guidance counselor in her high school tried to persuade her to go to Barber Scotia college but Ruth didn’t feel prepared for that type of commitment and didn’t have the support of a family to guide her along that path. After graduation, the only option she could think of was to become a live-in maid so she hopped a train and worked for a family in Boston. Ruth talked about the long hours and hard work, taking care of the family and scrubbing every inch of their 3 storied home. After a year of being a maid, Ruth decided maybe she would go to college. She moved back to Concord and attended Barber Scotia, unfortunately she failed out after her first year. After some time and some personal trials and tribulations Ruth ended up joining the Marine Corp, getting a bachelors degree and then a masters. There is so much more to her incredible story and someday, with her permission, I would love to share it.
I asked Ruth if she would share her story with the young people who will be part of TODH. She paused, her eyes filled with tears, and then my eyes filled with tears, and she said what I had been feeling; God placed us at that table together for a reason. After that we were both crying, I mean how could you not? This is just one of the many stories of the gifts God has given me over the past 2 years, the incredible people who are helping us locate a house, develop land, create our programming, mentorship, and the list goes on! He is so very good and faithful and His love humbles me every single day.
So I will say it again, I do not believe in coincidences. I certainly do not.