My dad would often remind me that my time on this planet was limited, and that anything I did that did not glorify God was essentially a big waste of time. He told me that chasing after fame or fortune (I use to sing professionally) was like chasing the wind because what portion of my earthly celebrity would I be able to take with me when I'm gone? Real treasure, he would remind me, is not measured in dollars or cents- it's measured in love. He'd make it sound so simple- to love. I can say in all honesty that the year that I lived without him was both the hardest and most beautiful time in my life. The former, was for obvious reasons-I'm a daddy's girl so our time together- the hugs, kisses, talks, and prayers I miss dearly. The beauty in his absence however is the manifestation of what he had been telling me while here all along. I'm so grateful that his passing proves to me that love truly endures forever. Leave it to my dad to make me fall even deeper in love with scripture- John 3:16-17
I think my dad would be proud of the past year. I struggled to come to peace with it, but looking back and putting it into Godly perspective, I know he'd be proud because despite a year of inexplicable push back, extraordinary challenges and hardship- I had the rare and wonderful opportunity to love and nurture 6 youth in need and I truly believe that one seed planted with their stay at New Way, will in fact, bloom and last forever. What I wanted to see was "success"- The same kind of success my father warned me about throughout my lifetime. After being told by many Children and Youth agencies, "We'll wait and see how you do with other counties first." I may have approached this first year as if I had something to prove.
I was expecting graduations, behavior modifications, reunifications with family and planning for those who were staying beyond 18- so for me to witness a child placed in a juvenile detention center, a child placed in a psychiatric hospital, and elopement after spending time in our program felt about as far away from the track record I was trying to create as I could possibly get. In short, I was seeing our past year only through my physical eyes. Through spiritual eyes, I could not have prayed for a more successful year. Six children who under the correct circumstance would never have encountered my program were brought into our care and beyond them receiving a safe home, great school district, time in the community, access to faithful fellowship, consistent correction, meaningful counsel, and great food...they were exposed to the unconditional love of the Lord through me. In retrospect, we are off to an amazing start.
-New Way Yout Services is in the process of transferring our license from a Residential Group Home to a Transitional Living Program. Although both license are Pa. 3800, with the implementation of the Families First Prevention Services Act, many Children and Youth agencies are moving away from group homes and focusing more on preventative, in home services to prevent out-of-home placement and for children who cannot return home-transitional care. New Way has always been set up to provide a safe home, referral services, and a welcoming community to children in need. We were set-up as a long-term option for children who cannot return home, and we have always been focused on helping adolescents transition into adulthood by promoting mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. New Way Youth Services is excited to be included as a resource aimed at the prevention of youth homelessness.
-CONGRATULATIONS to our graduates!!! We are proud of your awesome accomplishments and celebrate with you! May God's love and mercy travel with you as you embark on the next phase of your life's journey!