Inside TreeHouse - June 2017

Forgiveness

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Today in the prayer room we were blessed to hear the Story of one of Juarez’s missionaries, Brian. He spoke of his intense struggle as a young child, teenager and young man with violence, anger and addiction, and how he transitioned into living as a man of God. Brian now lives to spread the redeeming word of God- and that he truly did for us today.

Two nights ago I spoke to Adrienne about the weight pressing on my heart that originated from my past riddled with depression, drug use and narcissistic self-abuse, and the intense shame that remains from those few years of my life. Adrienne and I decided to pray on my forgiveness another night.

Before we had a chance to pray for me, Brian’s talk came. Tears of relief escaped from my eyes as Brian explained that the things that we have done, the places we have been, mistakes we’ve made, they do not define who we are. The lies that we tell ourselves, mine being that I am unworthy of love and good things in life because of all the things that I’ve done, these lies come from the Devil as he attempts to pull us away from the truth- that we are not defined by our mistakes. These lies surrounding mistakes we’ve made that we let define ourselves, they are seeds planted by evil. They aren’t who we are. Who we truly are is holy, saintly children of God, put on this earth for a specific reason: to spread God’s love and celebrate in the fact of who god makes us.

At this moment I was overjoyed. I’ve let the lies planted in my mind control my perception of myself, who I am, and my body- telling myself that perhaps I am deserving of the bad cards that life has dealt me. That no matter how much I accomplish or good that I do, it will never be enough for anyone to forgive me for the pain I brought forth unto the people I love. But Brian’s words taught me something incredible. That my mistakes do not define me. They are not connected to me. I CAN leave them behind, I CAN end my shame surrounding them, because God already knows exactly what I’ve done. And he still loves me, cherishes me, accepts me, and wants me to be a piece in his master plan for mankind’s redemption.

In this moment I realized that I had always been forgiven by God, that he was never angry or punishing me in the first place, and after four years I finally forgave myself.

Now, a new chapter of hope, love, excitement, joy and confidence has begun and I am overjoyed to step into my newfound glory and acceptance

-Lauren (Lolo)

TreeHouse hosted its annual Grad Party

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:4

On Thursday June 15th, TreeHouse hosted its annual Grad Party, a celebration for the 106 TreeHouse teens that recently received their high school diplomas. The night was filled with smiles and cheers as Kare11’s Julie Nelson hosted and emcee’d the event. Teens and staff from all nine TreeHouse locations gathered together to celebrate their great accomplishment, and pray for the journey that lies ahead.

While the evening was full of hope and triumph, students also had the opportunity to reflect on the various obstacles they have overcome en route to this amazing achievement. These roadblocks included anxiety, addiction, not feeling capable, and receiving little or no support from home. Students then continued to share how they persevered because of the support and encouragement of others, including their friendships at TreeHouse. Some of these teens are the first in their family to graduate high school, and one student proudly proclaimed that they stuck with school and graduated because it was their “way out”.

These incredible youths concluded in prayer for one another, hand over hand, now united as cherished TreeHouse alumni. However, the night was not done as CEO Tim Clark ventured outside and kicked off the back half of the celebration by being the first victim in the ever-so-chilly dunk tank!

As our TreeHouse teens venture on with their calling please join us in rooting and praying for them as they enter their next stage of life.

Julie Nelson believes in TreeHouse

Thursday, June 8, 2017

 

When I think back on my high school graduation, I distinctly remember a very clean garage filled with pictures of me growing up and filled with people I love.  We had all kinds of treats and refreshments and a volleyball net in the backyard. Mostly, I remember feeling celebrated and supported by fabulous family and friends.

For me, experiencing a grad party was expected – a rite of passage as I left home for college. For TreeHouse teens, a graduation party – let alone graduating – is something they didn’t expect was in the cards. Who would support them along the way? Who would be there to celebrate them?

That’s why the Grad Party in particular is near and dear to my heart. When I got to know some of the kids at Treehouse, I began to realize how much they were on their own.  Many times, no one was pushing them to do their homework, come up with a plan for their future or even to go to class.  The fact these kids did it anyway, largely on their own, struck me as a huge accomplishment.  And then I realized, who would celebrate these kids? Who would tell them “well done?” Where was their garage full of people? We decided TreeHouse would be their people! And so the tradition began.

The experience itself is an incredibly moving one. My favorite memories from the past TreeHouse Grad Parties are simply the kids. Their faces are just pure joy and pride. It always hits my heart that they don’t get celebrated very often, if ever. They all have to work so hard to hit this milestone. It is such a privilege to show them it is a big deal. This event speaks volumes: “You have a community, and we are proud of you.”

It’s amazing to see the positive affects this celebration has. The gratitude and joy these young people have for even the smallest recognition fills you up and breaks your heart at the same time. They are thirsty for praise and when they have earned it, it is so fulfilling to give it to them.  I get lots of hugs at the graduation party and the chance to look them in the eye and tell them, “well done,” “we’re proud of you,” “we expect big things.” They drink it in, and when I leave … my cup is full!

Thank you for helping to fill up these kids as we send them on their way to great things. We hope that you are filled with the joy of knowing how your support touches each and every one.

—JULIE NELSON, TreeHouse Board Member

Learn how you can be part of throwing this year’s graduating seniors a TreeHouse Grad Party: treehouseyouth.org/2017graduation

Celebrating our graduating seniors.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Past graduation parties for TreeHouse teens have demonstrated just how much this event means to them. This year, we have nearly 100 seniors graduating high school. Many couldn’t envision themselves graduating at all—but with the support of TreeHouse and its community, they’ve discovered the greatness inside of them and pursued their dreams. Help us recognize their achievement by throwing them a TreeHouse Grad Party!

treehouseyouth.org/2017graduation
 


 

Stories From Our Graduating Seniors:

Brooklyn Park graduate Lexi came to TreeHouse as a freshman in high school. She came from a broken home and had to overcome plenty of obstacles in her young life. At TreeHouse, she’s become a natural leader, and her hard work and dedication have paid off —she’ll be attending North Central College in the fall on a full-ride scholarship!

Chaska graduate Matthew has been at TreeHouse since he was in the sixth grade. His unique ability to be himself caused him to be bullied mercilessly, and in 8th grade he took a bunch of pills hoping he wouldn't wake up. He survived, and now is thriving as a leader at TreeHouse, his church, in several student organizations, and as a captain on the trap and track teams.  He is joining the Army National Guard this summer and will attend North Central University in the fall.

St. Louis Park graduate Caprice didn't think she'd live long enough to graduate. Growing up in a single parent home with three siblings and very little money, she struggled with her mental health. Rather than focusing on ending her life, she is now beaming with new life after finding living hope at TreeHouse. Her bright future includes attending the University of Minnesota in the fall!