Have you ever put yourself in a situation that you’ve never been in before in hopes that it would make you grow and push you outside of your comfort zone? Maybe it was applying for a new position at work, going to a conference by yourself, making a career change? Any of these things take a lot of courage, and a lot of prayer. Have you ever reached a point in your life where you just wholeheartedly wanted to pursue what God has planned for you?
Barry Motes connected to the ministries of OCA through his close friend, Jeff Stumph. Jeff positively affected his son’s life and saw the impact. This motivated Barry to get involved. By definition a domino effect means, “a cumulative effect produced when one event initiates a succession of similar events.” This is exactly why Barry got involved. Barry was recently matched with a young man named Sam. “When I first met Sam he had recently gotten into trouble for losing his temper and had run away temporarily. Since I’ve been hanging out with him, Sam seems much more confident, outgoing and happy. Just last week, when I went into his cottage to pick him up, another young man was screaming and cursing at him because of a silly dispute, but Sam just sat there calmly and didn’t reply in anger. I was really proud of him, because I believe in the past he probably would have lost his temper and gotten into a fight.” It is so important to be intentional in anything you take on in life. Barry intentionally encourages Sam each week when they meet. He told me, “the main thing these boys need is someone to spend quality time with them, listening to their problems and being a good role model. If an issue comes up, I try to explain the proper way to handle a situation and give examples of problems I’ve encountered. By letting them know that someone cares and we all experience troubles, hopefully they realize they are not alone, I also emphasize that God understands what they’re going through and Jesus will be there when people let them down.”
To learn more about starting an intentional relationship with a youth in the foster care system, call or email OCA director Beth Pace.