The Tribe Comes Together to Pray for Their Teacher
At Because Justice Matters, we believe that the youth of the Tenderloin can be empowered to shift the culture of their home and community. Many of our young dancers grow up in the Tenderloin witnessing isolation and exploitation, but by reminding them of who they truly are –daughters of the King- they can become the leaders they were created to be. To cultivate this understanding of true identity and leadership from an early age, we began a leadership training track called the Tribe, consisting of five girls between ages 7-11. By keeping this group small and close-knit, we were able to deeply invest in their lives over the summer. The course we led focused on the book of Daniel in the Bible, and through the text we discussed living with integrity in a downtrodden kingdom (Babylon) and how God favors this honor even amidst tough times.
The girls have grown tremendously since we began- not only as leaders, but also into their identities and who they were made to be. One girl has been able to express her visually artistic talent, while another shines in her motherly, compassionate personality. All of their dynamic traits can be uniquely used for the Kingdom, and it has been amazing walking alongside and encouraging them in this!
In fact, our tiny dancers are often a huge encouragement to their dance teachers. On the night of BJM’s gala, the teachers ran about to and fro, sorting out all the logistics of the night. Getting the dancers and all their moms to the venue late, readying princess costumes for their performance, and arriving at the venue only to see that the stage was far too small- such details didn’t seem to be working out. Despite such frenzy, the girls floated around in their tutus, stoked to be performing for a grand audience. Noticing how frazzled their teacher was, a young dancer remarked, “I think we should pray for you” –upon which the entire class gathered in a circle and laid hands on their teacher. Each of them lifted up their simple requests: “Dear Jesus, thank you so much that even though everything goes wrong, it’s still perfect because You are here and we are all a team.” One by one, the girls took turns interceding for and proclaiming truth over the teacher, event, and everyone attending the gala. This prayer chain continued until- “Ok girls, we have to stop praying and go dance now.”
The earnest prayers of our girls covered the event that night. Previously, many of them had shied away from praying aloud. Now, these girls are growing in their understanding of who their Father is. It is through such childlike faith and trust in Jesus that they will have a radiant influence in their community and beyond.