August/September 2016 - Vol. 87
 Testimonies from YouthWorks-Detroit
Antonio Leiva

ďI have never seen the Lord working so clearly beforeĒ
Testimony from Antonio Leiva

Hey! My name is Antonio Leiva and I just finished my sophomore year of college at The Ohio State University. While I grew up in a faithful and practicing Christian home, it wasnít really until I started college that I decided to pursue my faith more seriously. Needless to say, God didnít waste any time reaching out to me. I quickly got connected with a Catholic organization on campus. I joined a Menís Group freshman year and eventually committed to living in a Menís Household during my sophomore year. While the journey has definitely been worth it, I can also say it hasnít been easy. This is probably my fault though, as I am stubborn and have insisted on holding on to my worldly desires and securities for comfort instead of relying on the Lord.

Detroit Summer Outreach (DSO) has given me an opportunity to change that. After I was unable to find the internship in engineering I was originally looking for, I realized this gave me the freedom to use my summer for a new and different experience. This reminded me of DSO, which my sister participated in a couple years ago. Everyone who I mentioned DSO to said Detroit is amazing and changes lives, so I decided to apply to the program. Now Iím here and Iím glad to say it was the best decision I could have made for the summer. Being in Detroit has definitely put me out of my comfort zone, which has pushed me to grow as a person and has allowed me to give of myself like I never have before. Iíve had the chance to see all the amazing things God is doing here in Detroit, and I can definitely say I have never seen Him working so clearly before. The best part is that this has all been during training. I canít wait to see whatís in store for the rest of the summer.

Born and raised in Costa Rica, Antonio is now about to start his Junior year in Industrial and Systems Engineering at The Ohio State University.

Elisha in Detroit Summer Outreach

ďBeing in DSO has shown me the endless mercy the Lord hasĒ

Testimony from Elisha Miranda
It wasnít too long ago when a sixteen year old Elisha found herself in the middle of Detroit awaiting who-knows-what during a mission trip.  During that mission trip the Lord showed me a lot of things about service and what it means to love. A part of that was opening my eyes to Detroit Summer Outreach. My team worked with some of the people doing DSO that year and some of the young women really connected with me and encouraged me to do this program one day.

At sixteen I already knew there was something exciting that these people were experiencing that was other worldly. Their lifestyle was different. Their summer was different. Their love for one another was different.  I came off of that mission trip with fond memories and a decision: I was going to do DSO.

Fast forward to July 2016 after Iíve spent a year of service in Lansing, Michigan with its share of surprises, hardships, and grace. I find myself in the Youthworks Detroit Office at the halfway point of DSO feeling absolutely content. Thereís no other way to describe the feeling of knowing that youíre right where youíre meant to be.

Detroit Summer Outreach has changed me for the better. It stretched me to the point of breaking. It gave me relationships with people that I didnít know I could get along with let alone love. And it showed me how the Lord wants to continue to work in my life.

Being in DSO has shown me the endless mercy the Lord has. No matter how many times I screw up or feel sorry for me, the Lord has never abandoned me. He gave me his heart, given me people who love me, and experiences that will be with me forever.

Detroit Summer Outreach has not been a bed of roses. Thereís been times when Iíve wanted to curl up in a ball and sleep or other times when I would rather not stand under the blazing sun pulling weeds. But itís been all worth it. Every single harsh moment this summer, the Lord has remained faithful by giving me grace to withstand anything.

Elisha recently finished a year of service in Lansing, Michigan. She will be a freshman in a community college in California in the fall of 2016.

Jake Stoll

"What true unconditional love looks like"

Testimony from Jake Stoll

Hi my name is Jake Stoll, I am a community kid from Lansing Michigan (USA) and I just finished my freshmen year at Lansing Community College.
One of the first days here, some of us went to help Sister Judy hand out lunches to the homeless. For those of you who know Sister Judy is a Nun who hands out 130-150 lunches almost every day for the past 10 years. Seeing the way, she loves each and every one of them is amazing. She knows them all by name and is really involved in their lives, she could talk for hours about each and every one of the people she cares for. Seeing the way their faces lit up when she talked to them really highlighted the joy that she brings to their lives. She doesnít just hand out lunches, she loves and cares for each and every one of them. She is the most Christ-like person I have ever met: she truly loves like Christ loves. She shows what true unconditional love looks like and if anyone I know becomes a Saint it will be her. God has already worked a lot in me in me and has only been two Weeks! I canít wait to see what he has in store for the rest of the summer!

I'm a Work of Christ community kid from Lansing and I am attending Lansing community college pursuing an associates in construction management.

DSO woman intern

"Embracing woundedness and healing"

Testimony from Emily Schafer

During my internship year in Detroit right I worked as the Bezalel Project Director for YouthWorks-Detroit. I was also a preschool aid at Sacred Heart School and a volleyball coach. I found a lot of life, joy and opportunities to rely on the Lord through all of these. I do believe that Jesus called me here to do these particular things. Even more than this Jesus called me here to Detroit to be healed, restored and freed.
Last summer during Detroit Summer Outreach as I served on staff Jesus started to slowly but surely bring to light areas of brokenness and woundedness in my heart and life. And as He has called me here to live and work in this city He continued to show me these areas but also has begun to bring healing and freedom in these areas. I have experienced a freedom to be broken. Each of us has some brokenness but sometimes because of fear of judgement, our own pride, or other factors we canít or we choose not to see it and to engage it. I have found here in Detroit a city with its own share of brokenness a freedom to see and embrace my own brokenness and woundedness.  This freedom to be broken and wounded is not so we can stay in it though. It is so as our brokenness lies open we can invite our Lord into it and so hand in hand with Him, with His redeeming blood poured into these wounds, these broken places, we can walk into and live in the glorious freedom of the children of God.
So as I continue on this journey of brokenness and woundedness, I have begun to taste that healing, freedom and restoration that Jesus has brought me here to bring me to. I am so excited to see how he continues to use the concrete everyday realities of my life here in Detroit and working with our kids in Bezalel to bring about this work He is doing and to use me as a vessel to bring this healing, freedom and restoration to others as they too are to see and embrace their own brokenness. For we all are earthen vessels, fragile and broken, but in these earthen vessels we hold a treasure, the treasure of God in us! (2 Corinthians 4:7)

Emily is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. She graduated from Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio with a BSE in early childhood education and minor in Theology. She also participated with Saint Paul's Outrach in College. She has been a part of Youthworks-Detroit Summer program in 2011, Summer 2015, School year 2015-2016, and Summer 2016. She will start a Candidacy Program with the Daughters of Holy Mary of the Heart of Jesus this August in Steubanville, Ohio.

Photos by Yvette Rock

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