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  • Writer's pictureKinley Eubanks

Beginnings: Tyra's Story

Updated: Sep 1, 2020


We have stories here. Big stories, wild stories, sometimes broken stories, and we just want to share them. Jesus tells us why we want to share these stories--He tells us there is crazy power in our words, our sometimes broken stories. There is His power there, the kind that brings wholeness and healing and gives us a REASON to care, to listen, and to share. Tyra’s story, hers is big, and she TALKS about it--how rare, how sweet. A high school student who spent her summer loving our kids at camp--why? She saw herself in them. She’s one story in a whole community of big, wild, sometimes broken stories, full of power; those are the stories we want to share.


Tyra has the kind of perspective that can only come from EXPERIENCE--this girl has really been through some REAL hard things. She says, “When God presented me with this opportunity to work at Youth World this summer I was apprehensive-- at that time my father had just gotten horrible health news and I was going through my very first break-up…” For Tyra, there’s a daily fight against anxiety, and there’s a daily fight against the hard stuff from growing up that tries to creep back in. This summer though, we watched it happen--she poured out. With her deep dimples and ready-for-anything smile, this girl hugged often. She knelt down and got on their level on the sun beaten, dusty concrete. We saw her holding little messy hands through the hallways full; full of laughter and movement and an undeniable Presence. Tyra’s conclusion? “I was called to Youth World to learn strength from messy hands, runny noses, and innocent smiles.”

On the art room’s paint-and-glitter-stained concrete floors, between the echo of the blue gym walls, under soles standing on the dusty fields, sandwiched between little sweaty, busy bodies--those are the places that we LOVE--and those are the places where stories are shaped and pages are created. We cannot wait to tell more. “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…”

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