These are pictures of the last two days in my hometown, Troy, New York. The place I was born and raised. I lived not that far from the three pictures in the beginning and worked a few blocks from the last one. I immediately began crying...what is happening?!? A seventeen year old boy shot a forty-year old father. Then the last picture was a shoot out in the middle of the afternoon.
It pains me to know and hear about all this. I grew up in Troy in Lansingburgh to be exact. I played tagged on the streets and baseball in the alley. I can remember walking to the local store, Bob's, to buy a candy bar or candy cigarettes. I went through all my years in the public school system, where near the end I could see the area becoming unsafe. I saw students I knew from 1st grade join the Bloods, get pregnant and just have no hope for their life.
I did not always love Troy. I grew disgusted by it and wanting to leave as soon as possible. I wanted to be "better." But now I realize after getting away and working at Alight Care Center in Troy serving the community, I love Troy and I learned I am not better, I am Troy. It is where I grew up and where I learned so much. My family struggled to make ends meet, to give me and my brother the things we wanted or needed even. It is where I learned about people, and the realities of life. I have so much love and compassion for them! I am reminded of myself as a little girl there, my family and the friends that I grew up with there, when I see the faces of scared kids hiding like they are in the first picture.
It's hard not to get mad about all this. To not want to start blaming the police for not doing more or the gunmen for being harmful. The only way for me to process this is to know that I have a great God. A God who loves and in the same respect will bring justice someday. From that He has given me a love and compassion to serve Troy and the surrounding areas. To love and serve the youth someday. So they can find hope and be loved by the same loving God that I know and have a relationship with.
I write this to call all people of Troy and the surrounding areas to pray and to think of what we can all do to help. Helping might just be loving a neighbor or helping a kid with their homework. Maybe being a safe haven for them to come to. Whatever it is, search yourself and your hearts because I keep thinking to myself that could of been me and it could have been you! It could have been you with no hope, no place to go, no safety, and no love. But I hope it wasn't and I hope you all want more for these people! I know God does and I know I do.