Stories From Our City | Light Patrol

The Power of Presence

Story shared by Karen Bast, Light Patrol Outreach Worker

A Light Patrol staff and volunteer infront of a tent

My 19 year old friend, Ben*, was connected to us by a referral from another organization, as he was moving out with a partner in January 2021. Born female, my friend is working on transitioning to being a male. Walking together through 6 different living situations, 5 different romantic relationships, and more, has been chaotic, with "little to show for our work". Honestly, as we discuss our youth care at staff meetings, there are moments I've questioned if this is the best use of my time. But Ben wants to keep on meeting. As my coworkers and I talk it through, we land on not knowing exactly why God's placed Light Patrol in his life right now, but observing over these many months how quickly bridges are burnt and how few true friends he has, I am glad we're still there.

Recently Ben was living with 4 other young people in an apartment and wanted to connect all 4 of them with Light Patrol. "I told them that the first day I met you, you guys prayed with me. I was forced to go to bible camp as a kid, and colour pages and read the bible, and it made NO SENSE to me. It was totally irrelevant. But when you prayed for me, it sounded like you actually knew God, and could talk to Him like He was your friend. That meant something and I wanted to pray after that. I think these guys need that in their life."

Usually, it's really obvious why we are working with a youth: an immediate crisis, helping set goals and supporting youth to meet those goals, but sometimes we're just the friend that they need, and God gives us an important glimpse into their heart, reminding us that Light Patrol is a ministry of presence among vulnerable people.

*Name changed to protect the individual's identity.