Last Friday October 15 marked the end of Phase One of Gateway. For the first seven weeks, each of the interns (Justin, Raymond, Kentrell) participated in 147 hours of Labs (Life Skills and Personal Development) and worked between 80-90 hours in their local business internships at The Guild Shop and Goodwill. The day-in, day-out grind of these seven weeks was a challenge for these guys, as well as for the Gateway staff. In week seven Justin withdrew from Gateway, which was a bummer, but Raymond and Kentrell have continued in their commitment to finish what they began. We all have had to persevere through external and internal attacks that draw us off course. Hopefully, we all grew in some way during this time.

This is only the midpoint though, and we are in it for the long-haul. To propel us into Phase Two ( Job Search) we embarked on a one-day journey into the wilderness of the Texas Rock Gym and Memorial Park. On Monday October 17, Gateway staff and interns together faced the physical and mental challenge of climbing the wall and trusting the belayer to do his job. We learned that we are capable of more than we think but that we also have limitations. We learned about communication (blindfolded, without speaking). We learned how to (kind of) throw a frisbee (blindfolded) and how to navigate a mine field (again, blindfolded).

For the next two weeks Raymond and Kentrell will be going through a workshop at the WorkFaith Connection, and then they will hit the job-search road. We all know how tough this part of the journey can be – it is not necessarily fun, but it is necessary. Our role as a staff will be to support them in whatever way we can during this phase, with encouragement, discipline, employment connections, references, or just an unspoken word, whatever it takes.  Please keep them in your prayers over the next two months as they seek to finish strong.

 

 

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