God has been present through all of it


By Andrew

“I grew up in Mechanicsville, Virginia. I was born in Roanoke but grew up around Richmond. I ended up in Fredericksburg in 2012 when I was in a group home on Plank Road. That was where I aged out from foster care at 21. Mentally I was going through a lot and I was trying to escape.

I don’t really have a bunch of great memories from when I was a child. I was adopted when I was five and a half months old. It was kind of a miracle adoption to be honest. I was on an IEP from Elementary school onward. In fifth grade I started having an aide and all that. I got pawned off on group homes right after I finished my Sophomore year of High School. I was an A/B student at that time, but I went south pretty quick. I barely graduated high school. 

My first time on the street was in 2012 when I ran away from the group home. I got back in, aged out and then went to live with my adoptive parents again until January 2013. 

Since then, I have quite literally lived all over the country multiple times over. Previously, I’ve  traveled for females, being a free bird, wanting to do what I want to do when I want to do it, essentially being a spoiled little brat. That’s what I was doing before. Then the last few years, it’s been just me trying to find who I really am. As cliche as it is, it kind of was a soul searching. I didn’t realize it when I left Fredericksburg the last time. But these last three years have been a soul searching time for me, which honestly has been very extensive for me.

I’m currently a student at university of Mary Washington. I’m also doing a lot of dance stuff, hip hop, contemporary, jazz funk, which is probably the biggest part of my career right now. I’m debating between three different majors right now. Theater is a staple, but I’m thinking about double majoring. The other two I’m debating between are music and linguistics. I’m still trying to figure out what God wants me to do. 

I’m in a full load of classes–13 credit hours, five classes. I’m teaching dance lessons, for now, but I think I’m going to take a break from that to focus on school. I’m also trying to get an on campus job, if possible. I auditioned last week on Saturday for something called PAC–performing arts company–at UMW. I’m going to be performing in a contemporary piece. It’s a big show they have in April. Music and dance are top two for me. Those are very big in my life. Music has always been something that I wanted to do. Dance, I didn’t know that was what God was calling me to until a lot later in life. 

God has been present through all of it, every single solitary bit of it. My whole life story, which is way too long, has been God showing up time and time again. I haven’t always had a good attitude about my situation. This attitude I have now didn’t start happening until the last few years. That’s part of what came with the soul searching. It’s the contentment of where God has me, but also continuously striving to be better and do better and to be more faithful to God. That means to me what the scripture says, loving your neighbor as yourself and your neighbor being everyone. Jesus had a parable about it. The Samaritan was the one that acted like a neighbor because he reached out when the guy needed help, when others scoffed.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but what I can say is that Micah has been a very good resource. It’s better than it used to be, but I’m better than I used to be. What Micah means to me is helping us progress if you want to progress. 

Have faith, love God, treat people how you want to be treated, and be willing to put in the work for what you want. 

As social distancing and stay-at-home orders trended in early 2020, the Micah community committed to be a lighthouse in the storm. For two and a half years, pandemic resources made it possible for Fredericksburg to be a community where no one had to sleep outside. Community meals transferred compassion to a mobile delivery model. And services and support, traditionally offered from offices, relocated to hotels where the majority of unhoused neighbors were sheltering.

Fredericksburg’s downtown churches began their journey toward the vision for Micah Ecumenical Ministries almost 18 years ago. We’ve now been at this as many years as there are miles to the treacherous Jericho Road of the Good Samaritan story. Along the way, encounters with our neighbors’ suffering have taught us much about the home God envisions for humanity, and how we are called to take part.