Antonio’s Story

Posted on by Bonnie Rodriguez

Whenever Antonio was at club on a Friday night, I always had the feeling he would rather be at home, alone, playing video games. He didn’t seem to make any real connections with any of the students, and he told his sister, who brings him to City Life KIX, “The God you believe in doesn’t even exist.”

So imagine our excitement when Antonio agreed to go to camp.  We all know camp is a place where everything changes, where our kids get to experience joy, freedom, quiet, and relationships like they never have before.  

As the busses rolled in, I made sure to find Antonio and welcome him.  I watched as our staff were careful to include him in all the activities, and quickly, this young man started coming out of his shell. He was interacting, smiling, and not standing in the background. He even jumped on stage and volunteered for one of the games!  When I asked how he was doing, he looked at me, smiled, and said, “I’m more confident here and having a great time!”  

One afternoon, I saw my husband, Omar, standing with Antonio on the docks.  This was their conversation, in Omar’s words:

Antonio and I started talking about camp and his experiences there.  "I have never been to a camp like this. The vibe is different and the people are really friendly," said Antonio.

I told him that I was glad to hear it.  I asked, "Where are you with God?"

He answered, "Well, I used to be an atheist.  But now I am an agnostic. Because of this camp and how friendly people have been, I believe that there is a God now."

Their conversation was the beginning of something new and exciting that God is doing in the heart of Antonio.  He didn’t say YES to Jesus yet, but it’s clear God is at work.

Camp is one of those special places God can get the attention of a young person and move them from atheist to agnostic.  This summer, we have ongoing day camps, a week of sleep-away YFCamp, and weekly service opportunities for youth in West Homestead.  Will you please consider supporting City Life KIX Summer Daze programs so we can reach all the “Antonio’s” in our street?


Stacy Morales

City Life KIX Founder & Director

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