At House of Grace, we understand that working with youth at risk involves a commitment to a journey where success isn’t always immediately visible. Our approach is grounded in patience and faith, as we walk alongside these young individuals through their long-term journey of growth and healing. In the summer of 2009, a 14-year-old girl named Anna arrived at the House of Grace’s youth center. Coming from a background of complex family dynamics and severe economic struggles, her life had been significantly impacted by the recent loss of her older sister, an event that deeply affected her family, and particularly Anna. Despite these challenges, Anna, a shy yet ambitious and intelligent girl, sought ways to grow and progress.
At House of Grace, Anna found relief in basketball, a sport she loved. It gave her a sense of freedom and a platform to express her leadership skills, significantly contributing to her personal development. She also participated in the “Guidance Group,” a program specifically designed for girls to address their unique challenges and needs. Meanwhile, her younger brothers also engaged in various activities offered by the organization, strengthening the family’s connection with House of Grace.
Anna’s journey at House of Grace was not just about personal growth but also about academic achievement. After a six-year engagement with the center, she pursued higher education, earning a Bachelor’s and then a Master’s degree. Today, Anna is a successful teacher, shaping a promising career. Remarkably, nearly a decade later, she returns to the youth center as a volunteer mentor, eager to inspire and support the younger generation.
Reflecting on her time at House of Grace, Anna shares her personal insights: ‘House of Grace was like a guiding light in Haifa for me. It’s a place that really lived out the principles of kindness and support. There, I found a nurturing environment that helped build my confidence and motivated me to do well academically. I’m deeply grateful to this place and encourage others to contribute their time and efforts to keep this wonderful initiative thriving. As for myself, I’m always ready to help out in any way I can, drawing from my own experiences and education.’
Echoing her sentiments, Anna shared, “I have always been passionate about volunteering and charity work, values instilled in me by House of Grace. Despite my busy academic schedule, I felt a deep need to give back. House of Grace has always been a warm home to me. Everyone I met there treated me with immense love, and I witnessed Christ’s work through their actions.”
House of Grace’s impact on Anna and her family was profound. While the success of such programs is often hard to measure in the short term, especially with children and youth, Anna’s story is a testament to the long-term effectiveness of their approach. The organization not only helped her but also provided counseling and support to her entire family through its families in need program. The staff’s professional guidance, coupled with an atmosphere of hope and unconditional acceptance, significantly influenced Anna’s life trajectory.