An Open Ear | Teen Ink

An Open Ear

May 1, 2009
By Marissa Frye BRONZE, Salem, Oregon
Marissa Frye BRONZE, Salem, Oregon
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

All my life, I’ve had it pretty easy. I live in a nice house, my parents aren’t divorced, and no major tragedy has struck. A month ago I had the opportunity to go the ghetto neighborhoods of Modesto, California. There I met some pretty amazing people with some heart warming stories.

On my second day there, I had a chance to go street witnessing. Street witnessing is when you go and ask people if they need any prayer. After being shot down again and again, I finally met a girl my age, Elizabeth. She at first said no to prayer and was pretty timid. As we started conversing, she opened up and told me her grandfather had just died and her father had gotten hit by a car and has been unemployed for six months. She opened up to me, a complete stranger and accepted prayer even at first, she was a little shy. With everything going on, she was such a humble person with a bright shining personality.

Throughout our week of service, I continued to meet people who were pillars of strength. During a BBQ we provided for a trailer park, I had the privilege to meet Carlynn. Up until recently, she and her husband lived in Riverdale, a suburb close to Modesto. They had a nice 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house and a stable income. When their 3 grandsons needed help, they stepped up to the plate. Their dad was in prison for dealing drugs and their mom worked on the streets. With nowhere to go, they would be put into the system, with a sure guarantee of being split up. Carlynn couldn’t bear to see that happen, so she took them in. Not able to keep their house, they moved into the trailer park. Let’s faced it, it’s not a good environment to live in let alone raise a family. She sacrificed so much to keep her family within reach.

I always knew there were people out there that we pass everyday on the streets that had amazing stories. Being able to sit down and talk to just a few, really made me feel grateful for the life I have. Meeting Elizabeth and Carlynn changed my life and gave me inspiration to reach out and help anyone who are willing to accept my outreached hand.

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