Life can be full of tough choices, but for some youth at YBGR, the hardest decisions of their life are faced at a very young age. Kensi was 16 when she was placed in YBGR’s Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility. She had been abused by a family member, and she was struggling with what to do, how to heal, and whether she should testify against her abuser in court. One Sunday after Chapel service, Kensi approached Chaplain John Boeder and asked to talk with him. In their first meeting, she asked a lot of questions like “What do I do to get better?” and “How does God love me if this happened?” so they talked for some time about the importance of both mental health AND spiritual health.
About two weeks later, Kensi asked to meet again so they went for a short walk during lunch time. She said she had been working hard and feeling better and happier, but then she asked, “Do you think I should testify against my abuser?” John told her he couldn’t give her legal counsel but could give her spiritual guidance. He reminded her that she wasn’t alone and was surrounded by people who care about her. They talked further about healing and closure and what would benefit her and finished their walk by praying for peace, comfort, and clarity.
Just recently, Kensi was walking to class and saw John. She ran over to him and exclaimed excitedly, “I did it! I did an interview with Law Enforcement. I feel so much better. I am anxious about court, but I know I can pray about it and I know that others are praying for me, too!”
*For the privacy of the youth served at the Ranch, names have been changed. Image(s) shown here are a representation of those served at the Ranch.