Exodus truly lives up to its name, as it undoubtedly has been the escape from my own personal Egypt. The people I have bonded with have each given me more than I could possibly have hoped to ever receive from an organisation that falls under the branch of ‘youth work’. Just as Gods people where in the desert for 40 years, I too have been in my own arid land and this organisation gives me the water I need to stay hydrated and focused when life becomes too much. The spiritual aspect along with the kinship of the community created here is really something special and in my opinion, would be almost, if not totally impossible to recreate at any other youth drop in.
I’ve come to realize over many years that my best friendships have been the friendships that i can’t remember how they started, Exodus is exactly like that. I don’t really know when i started going, which one of my friends introduced me or how I even got involved. To me this is such a wonderful thing, to not know when something started but to know that it will most defiantly continue for a long time to come.
Every week I look forward to the Wednesday night meetings at Granville where I am always greeted with open arms and able to speak to any of the staff in an environment that is so relaxed it may as well be a home not a center. This is what i feel Exodus aims to do, give youth a place to escape and get help whether financial, emotional, spiritual or social. Exodus is just a great place to get away and relax, so now you can see why EXODUS is such a suitable name!
Exodus always has a can-do attitude when i feel uncertain or unsure about my goals, my friends or my family, I always know that the staff at Exodus are always all ears and willing to assist in whatever problems i have. The wonderful thing is that no problem is too big or unachievable. There is always a way to do everything and in a world where we are taught that most things are impossible, Exodus makes things possible.
I’m writing to provide a brief individual account of how attending the Exodus Youth Ministry has helped benefit my spiritual and everyday life.
Whilst I am a Coptic Christian that was raised in the Church since birth, over time and due to various difficult circumstances, I found that I had strayed quite far from the church at the age of 20 through until about 25 or 26. I was lucky to attend church at Christmas and Easter, or on special events, let alone Have holy Communion or attend a Mass.
Through strange coincidence, i was invited to attend Exodus by more than one person. Whilst at first I was quite hesitant and sceptical, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to attend. One visit led to another, followed by another. I was attracted to an environment which was comfortable, warm and welcoming whilst at the same time being highly informative, relevant and delivering a strong spiritual message that was in line with our traditional Coptic values which I had grown up with all my life.
As a result, and within a relatively short time frame, I found that I had grown stronger in my faith, had started picking up the Bible and the Agpia once again, and had even had Holy Communion again after about 5 or 6 years. I can confidently say that this would have been quite difficult without having had Exodus there. This is evident as nothing had changed for quite some time in the lead up to attending, and I can’t see how this would have changed otherwise.
Furthermore, I was recently able to invite a friend to Exodus who has been very distant from the Church (to say the least). I strongly believe that if i was to convince him to attend a Church service, such as a mass, or youth group, that this would have been a near impossibility. However, i do have hope that he will attend Exodus again, and that he will benefit the same way i did.
I pray that others be given this same opportunity, and that God bless this cause, and those who serve him in it.
Coming from a family that hasn’t had the best of circumstances Exodus has filled that void for me providing me with a safe and stable environment so that i don’t miss out on the chance of having normality in my life. Exodus provides many programs and activities as well as one to one interaction which encourage personal growth and support. Their is always an ongoing network of resources for my personal growth involving guidance allowing me to feel comfortable at all times. Their is always constant mentoring provided to the youth of Exodus allowing them to feel a sense of belonging free off judgment. Without Exodus i don’t know were i would be right now but i know that i do have a stable future to look forward too.