I visited a school community recently where young people who do not easily fit into traditional schooling attended.
I have been there before and recognised a number of students from my previous visits.
We gathered as a community to share something of what is happing in our lives. One young man came and sat next to me and started talking with me.
Among other things he shared with me that he was now coaching sports for other young people.
I congratulated him. He had built up enough self-confidence to teach others.
I then addressed the larger group.
I spoke about their unique gifts and talents.
I reminded them to be happy with who they were, to believe in themselves.
I shared what the other young man was doing in coaching sport.
I reminded them that they were not perfect, because no one is!
However, they also needed to believe that they were loveable, and that nothing will make this not to be true ever!
I reminded them about staying committed to education as part of lifelong learning.
We spoke of respect for others and respect for self.
They listened respectfully and with genuine openness.
I promised to pray for them every day.
We can never give up on anyone.
Our faith calls us to keep empowering each other.
It is exactly what Christ did!