“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
Cardarrius, age 15, likes to draw, exercise and ride his bicycle. But most of all, he likes to hang out at the MAM Grizzlies Center where he has always found a safe haven to grow emotionally, physically and spiritually.
A sophomore at Central High School, Cardarrius has been faithfully coming to MAM since third grade when he lived in the Alcy Ball neighborhood close to the MAM Grizzlies Center. After the death of his mom two years ago, Cardarrius and his three siblings were split up among family members, and he moved in with his aunt and transferred to Central High School. No longer close to the Grizzlies Center, Cardarrius now has his aunt drop him off or he rides his bike three miles to the Grizzlies Center after school each day – weather permitting!
“It’s the coaches – that’s why I love MAM. Coach Marcus and Coach Ben inspire and motivate me to be the best. Whenever I have a problem, I go to them and they listen to me and pray with me,” says Cardarrius.
“They are like big brothers to me and MAM is my second home.”
“And I love the devotions I hear every day at MAM. Every day I learn something new. The coaches make the Bible fun and interesting to us. Coach Marcus refers Bible verses to a rap song and that makes all the kids want to listen. It sticks with us to hear how a rap song relates to the Bible,” Cardarrius says with a grin.
Cardarrius speaks confidently of his relationship with Jesus and explains that he was saved when he was 10. He says that he grew up going to Divine Life Church when it met at the Grizzlies Center. He lived close by at the Hillview apartments so he walked to church. Now he goes to church most Sundays with Coach Ben.
“My coaches have shown me how Jesus has a purpose for everything that happens in my life. He wants to draw me closer to Him,” says Cardarrius.
“Knowing that affects how I make decisions and even though I sin, Jesus shows me grace. He has given me the free gift of eternal life even though I don’t deserve it.”
His favorite Bible verse is Mark 10:45. “That verse teaches me to put others before myself. Jesus came to serve and I want to do the same. I like to serve my coaches by staying at the gym after it closes and helping them clean up. I also help my little five and six year old cousins with their problems. They look up to me as a big brother just like I look up to my coaches.”
And the guidance of Coach Marcus and Coach Ben has also helped Cardarrius think about his future. “My favorite subjects are math and science and I like to draw buildings. So I want to go to Kansas University and be a Jayhawk. Then I want to be an architect, have a good job and travel the world.”
But until then, Cardarrius plans to keep on biking to MAM, growing in Christ and serving others!