By Chaplain Frank Friend
For the last couple of years, God has used one of our Orange County volunteer chaplains to make a huge impact in the lives of six Olive Crest teen girls. Young girls who have faced, and still face, many life challenges. And as they approach adulthood, their Olive Crest group home program seeks to prepare them for the life responsibilities that lie ahead.
Over time, through regularly showing up to support Olive Crest kids and teens, one volunteer chaplain has crossed paths with a dozen or more girls in the group home that she visits at least once a week. Sometimes LOVE is spelled T-I-M-E, and her consistency over the past two years has really paid off! A huge blessing is the fact that our teen gals have been able to connect with, and be greatly blessed by, members of our volunteer’s local church. And having a trusted consistent adult in their lives (who is not a paid employee) is such a Godsend!
These great experiences to connect have come about through:
- Ladies Night Out (LNO) with the “church ladies,” including dinner, karaoke, and much laughter!
- Hair Cuts and Salon Day provided by a church salon owner
- Participation in a fundraising carwash to benefit another Chaplaincy volunteer’s summer missions trip
- A huge clothing donation for our gals
- Homemade baby items for a girl whose mom just had a baby
- One of the church volunteers expressing interest in becoming a foster parent
- Connecting our girls via Skype with a nationally known Christian speaker regarding at-risk youth issues
- And many other one-on-one connections that have blessed our girls
And you probably won’t be surprised to learn that without exception, all the folks who have reached out to our Olive Crest teens report that they are as blessed, if not more so, as the girls they’ve been able to work with. It takes a village, and this local church village has more than embraced our young ladies and welcomed them into their community.
We are far more blessed to give than receive…no big surprise!