I finished my first full week of work last Sunday morning. I am about to start on my second in a couple of hours. As you may know from my previous post, I am working at a place called ROP-RVYSC. My hours are a bit strange. I work Wednesday from 1p to 10p, Thursday and Friday from 6a to 10p, and Saturday from 7a to 10p. ROP-RVYSC is a type of boarding school/treatment center for kids coming out of Denver Youth Corrections. It is a very regimented program, almost like a military school. Many of the kids are in the school that is on site. Some of them are in vocational programs. My position is called Coach/Counselor. I am there when the kids get up and when they go to bed. Most of the time I am simply supervising their activity. For I couple hours each day I sit in on one of the vocational classes, which presently is welding, and make sure the kids are present and on task Each day the kids have to run 3 miles. I get to run this with them, if I so wish. Some days they run on a track. I tried to run it with them but did not make it the whole way. Others days they run on a 2.9 mile cross county loop called the adrenalin Course. I was able to complete this, only because we ran as a group and the pace was very slow. I will assuredly get in good shape here (They have a workout room that I go to on my break). In the afternoons they have a period for sports. Since there is a school there, they have all the high school sports a normal school would have. Right now I am helping out with soccer, which means I get to stand on the sidelines and make sure the kids who are not on the field are behaving. In a few weeks basketball starts, and I hope to work with that.
It is very interesting work. I think that I will enjoy it. These kids have tremendous needs and problems, obviously. Yet, they are not unlike any other person. Most of them act real tough and cool, and do their best to pretend they do not care, but I think it is all a facade. Whenever a student gets in trouble, they get to do exercises (a bit more intense than copying a dictionary in detention). They do not like doing these, although some students get sent there often. All in all, these kids are just like the kids at Twin City Christian School, except they cuss much more, and they really are gangsta's from the ghetto.
The staff is pretty interesting. I work with a group of 23 kids. There are two other staff members that work on my group during my shift. One of them was on vacation last week, so I haven't met him. The other is a nice family man. He is very helpful. None of the people I work with are Christians. Sometimes, I don't know who cusses more, the staff or the kids. It is an environment I am not used to at all.
If you think of it I could really use yours prayers. Pray that I can keep a strong testimony among the staff and the students. I need to make sure to guard everything I say and do. Pray that I can establish my authority with the kids. These kids have already tested me. They love trying to confuse me, and telling me information about the program that isn't true. They look for any excuse to not do the things they need to do. I need to focus on being tough in implementing the program. Pray also that I can give good advice to the students. Each day they have a group meeting where they deal with whatever issues they are having. It is a chance for students and staff to confront each other in areas where they are not acting as they should. It is a chance for us to give what they call "positive feedback." I have already sneaked in some Biblical advice, and hope to do so in the future. I hope that I can do so and many sow some seeds. I don't think I have the ability to do any overt witnessing, but maybe I can give some good godly advice.
I will continue to keep you updated. There is much more to say, but I must go. Please leave a comment, and ask questions. I want to here from you.
That is all.