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Helping Hands Volunteer Tutoring: The Story of Carson

November 22, 2010

It has been three years since I first met Carson*. He was struggling with school when his mother called. She was barely making ends meet as a single mother. Dad had skipped out long ago. She wasn’t even sure what state he lived in.

We usually ask what area of school the student needs the most help with. Carson’s mother Pam didn’t know where to begin. She said he needed help in every subject.

And with that we began a relationship with Carson and his mother. We set Carson up with a tutor, one of the men in our church, and they began to come on Wednesday nights. Unfortunately many times it was erratic. Carson might not even show up. Rarely would they call to let us know. His tutor Gene often would come up to our building and hang out until around 6:30 and leave.

Eventually the school year came to an end but that didn’t end our relationship with Carson. A year and a half later I received a phone call from his mother. Carson really liked coming for tutoring and was wondering if he could come again.

Unfortunately things had gotten worse. Carson wasn’t simply struggling in school, he had been expelled. As we had always known, his problems went well beyond his ability to read and write or add and subtract.

So, for the remainder of that school year Carson reconnected with his original tutor. His attendance was just as spotty as the first time, maybe even worse. But when he came we worked with him. We tried to connect with the family. We assisted them financially with some needs. We attempted to connect them with Jesus and with a church.

I would see Carson up at the YMCA. We would play basketball together and I would encourage him.

That was last year. This year Carson’s mom called again and so we began the ritual of trying to connect with him beyond tutoring as we also try to help with school. Last week his mother called to let me know he wouldn’t be coming anymore. He was supposed to come to church with me last week. We had it all arranged but when I arrived at the door his mom informed me that he had went to stay the night with a friend. She was about to leave for work but wanted me to know how much she appreciated all we did.

She told me he was too much, trouble at school and home. She sent him to a boys home last week where they might be better equipped to handle his needs.

This week I called mom and asked if we could study the Bible together. A course called the Story of Redemption. I got Carson’s address so that I can write.

If you could keep them in your prayers I would appreciate it. God knows their real names, their real hurts and struggles. And pray for me because being the hands and feet of Jesus is always more than just meeting a need. It is connecting with people in hopes of connecting them to their ultimate need, Jesus Christ.

*All names have been changed

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2010 11:35 pm

    Thanks for the inspiration and great example! Love you Darin…and look forward to reading more!

  2. November 29, 2010 9:27 pm

    Thanks John. Is it to soon to be looking forward to the Workshop?

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