Kaleb’s* father recently died unexpectedly. He was close to his father and after his death Kaleb’s family struggled to provide for an energetic 15 year old. So a few months after his father’s passing, Kaleb came to Epworth.
Since Kaleb’s arrival, things have not always been perfect. At times he has lost his temper at cottage staff. His school grades have gone up and down, then back up again. He has made friends in his cottage, but sometimes he struggles to be a good friend. He has made a lot of progress, but behavior consistency remains a growth area for him.
One day at church, he expressed interest in attending a Salkehatchie summer service camp. This was a great opportunity for him to continue his growth and place his energy toward giving back to others. As camp approached he was visibly excited. At camp he fit in quickly with the other teens and things were going great. Suddenly on the first afternoon, Kaleb asked his Epworth staff if he could leave.
When asked why, Kaleb fell silent.
He later explained that he got his first work assignment on the site and it was do yardwork. After talking to him more, the Epworth staff learned that it was not the idea of physical labor that scared him, it was because his father died while doing yardwork. It brought back a flood of memories and tears. On top of it all, it was Father’s Day.
Instantly his staff promised him that he could leave, but encouraged him to give it a try for one day. He found another part of the project to work on and gave it his all. Before long, he was smiling and laughing like the other youth. The next afternoon he proudly proclaimed that, “There is no way I am leaving!” By the end of the week he was begging to come back next year.
Your Epworth Work Day offering provides the special moments where children face their biggest fears and overcome them, just like Kaleb did this summer. Your offering also provides the consistent, daily nurturing that is needed over the long haul to overcome traumatic childhoods. Please give generously to support the children at Epworth, children like Kaleb.
*Name, photo and identity changed for the protection of the child.