Phil Roth Story
It’s very easy for me, and other people who live in North Dallas and the DFW suburbs, to ignore the real, pressing people needs in our community. The Dallas Morning News recently reported that one of every three children in Dallas grows up in poverty, which is astounding.
There certainly are people with great needs all over the globe. I have for many years volunteered for a Christian organization that ministers to children in poverty in countries around the world, a worthwhile ministry that I will continue to support.
However, it is so important for Christians to understand that poverty—both financial and spiritual—is rampant in our own communities.
I began tutoring at Refugee Resources about a year ago because I wanted to have a personal impact on one life—a child in my community who I could encourage, teach and pray for. A child I could invest in and who would know that I would be there for him.
That child is Tika.
Tika is a 13-year-old boy who this fall will be in the 8th grade. He loves video games and playing with friends, and he seems close with his family. He says he is not a fan of school. Each week, we talk about what’s going on in his life, the challenges and the joys. We pray about upcoming tests and also for friends and family members. And we read.
Seeing Tika progress in his reading has been a thrill for me. When he is told that a word should be pronounced differently, he remembers and says the word correctly next time. He is reading faster and with more confidence.
Besides meeting Tika, I enjoy seeing the faces of those who live in our refugee community. They wear traditional garb, speak different languages, and make food that smells different from mine. I am so glad they came to Dallas as their relocation home. These refugees have been through a lot and I want them to feel that they have a welcoming home here.
I am so encouraged knowing God loves these families and seeks their hearts. The children who come to Refugee Resources enjoy learning the attributes of God and hearing stories from the Bible. Amidst the poverty, God is working in this refugee community.
Another joy for me is seeing the variety of ages of the ministry volunteers. The high school girls who join us on Monday nights are full of enthusiasm and create such a fun environment for the children.
However, there is a great opportunity for men to join us at Refugee Resources. Currently, I am the only male to serve on Monday nights. And the other nights could use more men as well. The children, particularly the boys, would benefit from seeing Christian men sharing their time and their faith with them.
There are so many ways we can spend our time—many of which are necessary and important. I simply know that the time I spend with Tika at Refugee Resources has opened my eyes to the needs in Dallas and introduced me to a young man who has great potential for the future.