When I was 8 my parents divorced. My mom remarried an alcoholic who was out of control. 

One night after church my sister and I came home to an all out war! My mom screamed at us, “I told you not to come home!” 

She yelled for my sister to take my younger brother to her room. She did and they both hid under her bed. I tried to get between my mom and step-dad she grab me to put me behind her. He grabbed my head and slammed it into the side of the fridge.

The cops came and he went to jail. We left. She went back. My sister and I didn’t.

Later she did leave. We then moved into a trailer park. At times we had to sleep with cotton in our ears just to keep the bugs out. We had to regularly dig roaches out of our cereal and drinks.

By this time I was just starting 6th grade. I started to struggle with depression, anger and suicide. Two times I was on the brink—once on the curb about to jump in front of a car and the next time with a knife to my wrist.

Fast forward to 2007 and I was on my way to work when I got a call from my mom. She was hysterical. She said “They are taking your brother.” The night before, I couldn’t sleep. I knew something was wrong so I just prayed.  I still don’t know why it happened. None the less the choice had to be made. Be a single guardian to your bother or let him go to foster care. He was small and sitting in this huge chair in the middle of DCS. I felt the same way—I felt like I was a small boy and sitting in a huge chair of “what just happened.” I just prayed.

While thinking about camp the Holy Spirit remind of a phrase “nothing wasted”. In John 6, Jesus feeds 5000 people on the hill. They all eat until they are full. Then this amazing verse emerges. John
6:12, “Jesus told his disciples, ‘Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.’”

So many times in life we have been chewed up and spit out by people or situations. And just like the pastors, friends and family God used to gather my broken heart—He does the same for
anybody. That’s our greatest call as His disciples—as YOKE Folk. We go to the fields we gather what others have leftover used and broken. We gather those broken pieces, and carry them to Jesus. He looks at the brokenness and says—all the brokenness you have been through, the abuse, the feelings of uselessness—I will work together for your good. I will take every piece. It all matters—there will be nothing wasted.

Note: In the sixth grade, Jon Marshall was a YOKE Kid .