The Story of An Angel

This is a wonderful story written by Chicken Coop that is a reflection on why we tutor and the unique bond between mentor and student. Another example of the men of F3 stepping up and creating impact.

It’s Thanksgiving and as I sit here reflecting on what I have to be thankful for, one of the first things that comes to mind is Angel.  I met her a couple years ago when F3 called folks to step up and help tutor and mentor students at Billingsville Elementary School. I’m a physician, teacher of doctors in residency and I worked across the street from the school – it seemed like a great opportunity to help students with their studies, have some fellowship with some of the F3 guys, but honestly I didn’t really expect anything in return.  A bunch of us F3 guys became regulars at Billingsville, with some eventually working with the same student each week. That’s what happened to me.  What started out as something I would do if I had the time, quickly became a huge priority in my life once I started regularly working with Angel, one of the students there.  I got lucky meeting her, coming in late one day nearly two years ago when she was looking for someone to help her with her homework.  Within minutes I realized this was a girl who was going to “make it” – she was interested in learning and worked hard.  She was quick to smile, polite, shy but inquisitive, and always optimistic.  And she loved to sing!  I would look forward each week to both hearing her sing and also hearing how she was doing at school and at home.  And I was curious about her home life because she was one of the few at Billingsville that you could just tell had a bright future. I literally would race over from clinic each Wed even if I was late just to see how she was doing.  Angel just had a way of getting into your heart.

Over time, I learned more about her family – a true family unit: a working mom and dad and three siblings who were doing well at Myers Park High School but living in the unstable community of Grier Heights.  I got to know her mom and siblings over time when they would come to pick up Angel from the afterschool program.  I learned her mom was manager at a Bojangles and her dad did contract work for a local janitorial service.  They were good people and I thought my family would gain from getting to know them.  We started out inviting Angel to weekend outings and I watched as she bonded with my young daughter.  Her family never asked for anything but I honestly felt God had connected us and we could help them.  Angel graduated last May from Billingsville and I sat alongside her family, proud that I could be there for her.

It was about then I learned that her mom had unexpectedly gotten pregnant.  While we continued our outings with Angel over the summer, our family thought about how we could help her family.  Shortly before the holidays and before her mom gave birth, Angel’s dad lost the contract for his janitorial job. When the baby was born around the holidays, their mom had to stop working to care for the baby and they had no income coming in.  It was definitely a tough time for Angel and her three other siblings (now four). Yet she never complained and neither did her family.  “We’ll be OK”, they’d tell me or something like that, even though I could tell it was really tough. They never asked for help but as a family we decided to help them get through the holidays and help with stuff for the new baby.  I won’t forget my wife telling me when she dropped off a ham for their Christmas dinner how Angel’s dad just hugged and thanked her.

We are hoping to work with our church, as Grier Heights is one of our outreach ministries, to help her dad find a contract for the company he works for.  Angel’s mom is now back at work while her father is caring for the child.  We are praying things are moving in the right direction. I moved on to Bulldogs Matter afterschool program at AG Middle school this year so that I could continue to be with Angel. Now we are planning to meet early to work on science, her least favorite and my most favorite subject.  I try not to miss a Thursday working with her and seeing her.  It’s the highlight of my week.  I realized a while ago that this is the stuff that matters in life.  What started as more of a fellowship with men turned into an even more meaningful fellowship with a young girl and her family.  I thank God for such a relationship.

1 thought on “The Story of An Angel

  1. Chelms aka Tatertot

    This is one of my favorite posts of all time and gets to the essence of the impact F3 can make in our community. David is a special man and I have been blessed to have him join us at AG. I pray that others read this post and receive inspiration to follow David’s lead.

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