From RSR Student to Married Man
Get to Know Us: Edition #1
By Daniel Hystad
When I initially came to Rock Solid Refuge, I was under the impression I didn’t need to be here. I thought I was better than everyone else. I couldn’t see how my destructive behaviours were impacting my family, because at that point in time the only person I cared about was myself. I didn’t really shake this ideology until halfway through the year, when it started to sink in that maybe I wasn’t as problem-free as I thought I was. I was surrounded by loving, caring people who gave their time and energy to speak into my life and the others students' lives too. I had been taking it for granted. I started working with them and really applied myself to the program and what it offered, which for me was a safe place free from past influences and people who loved and cared for me. When I graduated, I had a feeling I would be back.
About a year later I did come back, this time as a student Intern. As I spent time helping the other staff and being a kind of bridge between the staff and students, I realized how much I wanted to contribute to this ministry; to give to other adolescents the same love and hopefulness that was given to me. I slowly transitioned to being on staff and my journey as Youth Care Worker began.
Being a Youth Care Worker was definitely the hardest struggle I’d experienced in my life up until that point. There were so many times where I felt like giving up and moving on, but I knew that we had to be different for the students; that we couldn’t give up on them like so many others had. To have that kind of love for others was not something I could have given on my own. I learned it from my parents, from the staff at Rock Solid, but also from Jesus himself, who loved us so much that he died for us.
My time at Rock Solid has given me many memories, and has made me grow into the man I am today. It’s hard to imagine sometimes that just a short while ago I was an angry, distrustful teenager that only thought of himself. I had to put that aside and learn to trust others and to love them, as Christ loved me. I’ve been extremely blessed to be part of this ministry, and I encourage anyone who has a heart for others to come visit, volunteer, or even apply for a job. It’s a truly life-changing experience!
Editor's note: Daniel has since married another staff member from Rock Solid and they’ve moved away so he can support his new bride as she pursues higher education.
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