William's Story

Some kids are loners and some kids are abused, William was both.  By all worldly accounts he should be a bitter, angry person.  Growing up he was beaten by both of his parents.  William’s father was a Golden Gloves boxer and was disappointed in his son.  He didn’t feel his son was tough enough so he beat him, thinking this would make him a man.  Eventually, his parents abandoned him to make it on his own in the cruel streets of urban Kansas City.Others in the neighborhood would beat William too.  He became known as the whipping child.  Kids in this economically depressed neighborhood looked down on William because his family was so poor.  He was the poorest of the poor, often times going without food.  Just to survive, William would look for odd jobs mowing yards to get a little bit of money for a meal.  Often he would be jumped and have his money taken before he could make it to the store.  Some kids have bad days, others have horrible days.  William’s days were often in the latter category.Years passed and William wandered into a church hoping to find a place to rest.  It was there he heard the Gospel.  He discovered that he had a loving Father in Heaven who cared for him and wanted to comfort him in his pain.  William gave his life to God as a young man.  It was through his faith, fellowship, and following Biblical teachings that he experienced the grace and mercy needed for inner healing.  The anger, bitterness and hurt dissipated as the Holy Spirit operated within William’s life.  In these early years, William learned to pray to God by saying, “your word, your will, and your way.”  This prayer has been lived out in his life as a servant of Christ.One summer, he served a wonderful inner city camp called “The Sky’s the Limit.”  It was during this time that William was introduced to Freedom Fire.  There were over 100 Freedom Fire kids at the camp.  He quickly became friends with the Freedom Fire staff.  At the end of that summer, William began working part time for the ministry.That was ten years ago.  He has since become a highly valued member of the team.  All who meet William are endeared to him.  One of the major reasons why people love him so much has been due to his overwhelming compassion and generosity.  The staff of Freedom Fire has been inspired by his generosity.  He regularly gives out of his poverty, to his own neglect, so that he can help others.Once his mother (who has since become a follower of Jesus) called William, panicked because her electricity was about to be turned off.  William, without hesitation, gave his last bit of money to pay his mother’s bill.  Consequently, he did not have enough to pay his own bill.  William lived over a month without electricity in his apartment so that his mother would be OK.Knowing that William gives extravagantly out of his limited means, we have given him bonuses for his work.  Routinely, he gives that money away to others whom he feels need it more or need encouragement.Although William has become known as a generous person with his money, he has been even more generous with his time and affection.  Currently, he has taken in a young man who had no home and was going hungry most of the time – much like William once did.  He provides a room and food, but most importantly he has given spiritual encouragement and direction to this young person.On numerous occasions he has dropped everything to go rescue a staff member with car problems or give a mother and her children a ride to the grocery store.  He has always been willing to serve in anyway.  William truly models Christ’s heart for service as mentioned in Philippians chapter two. 

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