Partners in Prayer: Gabriel Finds a Family at Mercy Home
It is easy for a teenager’s life to spiral out of control. That’s what happened to Gabriel, who grew up without much supervision or guidance. Feeling unloved and unwanted, he was angry and defiant when he first arrived at Mercy Home.
Gabriel’s mother had Gabriel when she was a teenager herself. As a result, his mother was unable to finish high school and still depends on Gabriel’s grandparents for support. She was not prepared to be a parent and struggled to set appropriate limits for Gabriel as he grew up.
Even though Gabriel’s mom wanted to be a better parent, she wasn’t around enough to really be involved in his life. She worked a string of jobs with odd hours and was often at work when Gabriel was home from school.
“Because he felt so alone and unwanted, the only place Gabriel felt like he could turn was a gang.”
Gabriel’s dad was also uninvolved his life. He lived out of state and had past struggles with drugs, so Gabriel was not allowed to contact him. Not having a father around was hard on Gabriel, and he often felt like nobody really cared about him or was there for him.
As Gabriel grew older, he began to turn outside his home for acceptance, love, and the family he longed for. Unfortunately, he didn’t make wise choices in choosing friends to spend time with. Because he felt so alone and unwanted, the only place Gabriel felt like he could turn was a gang. They told him they could become his family. At first, he thought he found the solution to feeling so alone.
It soon became clear to Gabriel that joining the gang was a poor choice. His new friends were involved in things that he didn’t want to be part of, like taking drugs and getting into violent fights with rival gang members.
Gabriel felt totally overwhelmed by his situation. He couldn’t think of any way to safely leave the gang. Desperate, he confided in his mother about his inability to disassociate with the gang. His mother pulled him out of school to keep him away from the gang but didn’t know what else to do.
“He knows now that he is truly part of a family at Mercy Home—exactly the one he had been longing for.”
Luckily, one of Gabriel’s teachers became concerned when Gabriel stopped showing up at school. When she contacted his mom, the whole story about Gabriel’s involvement in the gang came out. Gabriel’s teacher told his mom about Mercy Home, where Gabriel would have a chance to start fresh and make positive relationships.
Gabriel was unsure about coming to Mercy Home, but recognized it was the only safe way to get away from the dangers of his neighborhood. Even though he knew it was the best place for him, that didn’t stop him from being angry and resistant when he arrived. He fought constantly with my coworkers and the other boys. He refused to follow the rules. But we never gave up on him, because we knew that behind the angry façade was a hurt boy who longed to be loved.
Eventually, Gabriel began to believe he was loved and cared for. He knows now that he is truly part of a family at Mercy Home—exactly the one he had been longing for. It is because of your prayers and support that we are able to make sure all our kids find the love they deserve. Thank you!
A SPECIAL PARTNERSHIP FOR THE SAKE OF MERCY’S KIDS AND FOR OUR TELEVISED SUNDAY MASS
You can make a difference in the life of a troubled child. Fr. Scott needs Partners to pray for our kids at Mercy Home–and also faithful Partners to help broadcast Sunday Mass at Mercy Home.
By pledging your support and your prayers, you’re offering a precious gift to Mercy’s kids–and helping our community of faith join together every week.
The boys and girls of Mercy Home are very proud of the difference they are able to make just by sharing their time and heart with others. None of this would be possible without our kind, faithful supporters, for not only sharing their friendship but for also setting an example of generosity and compassion for them to follow. During this month, please keep the young people of Mercy Home and all of our generous benefactors in your thoughts and prayers.