We met Jaquita’s kids in the Summer of 2016 when they attended our Summer is For Kids day camp. They heard about the opportunity from our volunteers going door to door at TN Village Apartment complex and our pencil partner, Cockrill Elementary, where Aarion and Ariana attend school.
We knew she had to be an exceptional woman because her kids were a light to us and we looked forward to picking them up in the Dream Center van.
She made sure we had her phone number and email address in case Momma needed to step in at any point. That day came when little Aarion punched Pastor Ryan in the nose. We can laugh about it now because our buddy was on steroids from a stay in the hospital from a severe asthma attack. I’m sure we’ve all had those days where we wish we could sock it to someone! Jaquita handled the situation with grace and sincere apologies. She never made excuses for his behavior. Now Aarion goes down in Dream Center history as the only kid to punch Pastor Ryan. We hope to keep it that way.
Jaquita began attending our Sunday service with her kids after that Summer. We would invite her to stay for Dream Center Moms group and she would politely decline. But in the Summer of 2017, everything changed.
Jaquita was suffering from deep depression. Life felt so heavy and she tried to take her own life. Thank God she reached out for help, being vulnerable and calling us her church people. But we wanted to be her family.
TJ and Miranda dropped by one afternoon after that incident with food from our food ministry and gave Jaquita a chance to share where she was at and how we could help. From that day forward Jaquita began to rely on the safe, positive community we have to offer and now she is pretty much here anytime the doors are open with her kids, attending Dream Center Mom’s group or volunteering.
Life didn’t magically take a 360 for her. She has been through some difficult things this fall trying to help one of her sons who was struggling and navigating the need to find a new job. But she has persevered and is continuing to seek healing through counseling connections we have and the beautiful relationships formed in the Dream Center Moms group.
Jaquita just entered a CNA program and has a new job that supports her schooling. Will you pray for Jaquita? We want to see her continue to thrive. Pray that her kids stay well. Pray that she has the strength to study. Pray for her to get good rest at night.
Jaquita certainly matters and we are proud to share her story.
Watch Jaquita’s Kids perform part of their original rap, “Welcome to the Dream.”