McKenzie is an amazing young woman. She is bright, beautiful and has a vision for her future.
McKenzie lives in a community we have the privilege of working alongside. Her mom is amazing, raising 3 kids and volunteering her time in the community center we operate. She is coaching a basketball team for some of the kids in the community because she heard them talking about desiring one and decided to respond. McKenzie’s mom brought the idea to our team, and we are thrilled to rally behind her.
Her daughter is walking her mother’s footsteps. Like her mom, she has a big heart, and like all of us, she has hopes and dreams. She wants to be a model and veterinarian.
McKenzie is a young, African American woman who happens to be albino and her peers make fun of her often. If I went into the details of what people say to her, you would be horrified. The darkness of the human heart is capable of awful things, and she has received the weight of that. We have cried with her, laughed with her, and simply been a friend to her. That’s what being present in every moment allows for, and also why we believe it is an essential part of what we do.
Recently, McKenzie was bullied to a breaking point. We won’t discuss the details, but I think many of us would have felt a similar way. Hearing, “you aren’t valuable,” over and over again eventually becomes a narrative you believe about yourself.
In this situation, our amazing staff represented Jesus. They simply put their arms around McKenzie, reminded her who they know her to be (a beloved and beautiful child of God), and said they would be there for her. How they represented that to her is what I want to share with you:
They set up a modeling photo shoot for McKenzie, where she was able to get in front of a camera and realize her dream. And, guess what? She was a natural! Since then, other individuals have noticed the gift and beauty of McKenzie and given her opportunities to be photographed as well. The photo you will see below is McKenzie. Simply stunning! I know you will agree.
This is what the love and goodness of God looks like.