Book Review: “The Omaha Street School– My Unexpected Journey With At-Risk Teens”

9 Sep

John Parsons has taken an unexpected journey.

After achieving what he thought was his career dream of becoming an attorney and moving to Colorado, he set that dream aside to follow what he came to understand his true calling– to help young people who needed folks around them who would love and support them and, in doing so, model what our God has called us to in life.

And to do so not in Colorado, but much to his surprise to return to the streets where he grew up in Omaha, Nebraska.

And to do so in the midst of medical challenges his wife faced that would have had many of us opt for “safe haven” instead of continuing boldly and faithfully forward with the unexpected journey.

If you work with urban youth this story can certainly be instructive, and for all of us who want to be inspired to lean more deeply into our faith journey and act in ways we might initially see as “risky” this book is an important testimony.

Fair warning– not all of John’s encounters along the way have “happy endings”. But John shows us what it is like to be truly faithful, to keep going in spite of (because of?) setbacks, to keep loving up those who may not know how to reciprocate, and to have faith that in the midst of seemingly insurmountable challenges that our God is right there with you– all the way.

He does all of these things with a sense of humor and fun. Another lesson John teaches is to be a person who takes his faith seriously, but doesn’t always have to take himself seriously.

I hope and pray the story of John Parsons and his family with bless and strengthen you… and your unexpected journey.

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