Youth For Christ Counselors Help St. Martin Kids - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Youth For Christ Counselors Help St. Martin Kids

"What happened during the storm for you," A counselor asks a child.

"During the storm our roof came in," he answered.

Youth for Christ counselors are hearing stories like these time and again.

"Our cat was out in the storm," one girl says.

"You told me about the lady and the pets, did they survive?" A counselor asks a child.

"Just earlier today, a student told me about someone trying to break into their home. Their dad went out and shot a shotgun in the air. Now this young lady can't sleep at night," Youth for Christ Mississippi Director Brad Holt says.

But giving children a chance to tell their tale is what Holt says will help them heal.

"They need someone to talk to, they need to be able to get this off of their mind," Holt says.

"It's important for them to know what's happening. If they don't have an understanding, then they might not be able to deal with it," Counselor Matt Sartin says.

Part of the process is getting the child to open up by talking about happy things.

"What are the things you like to do?" Matt asks.

"Play soccer," one boy answers.

When they do start to talk about Katrina, each child has different memories of the storm's wrath.

"We had a few trees down and we lost some shingles, no biggie," Bradley Dalton says.

"I was afraid nails would be in the road and tires would be out," Student Perry Payton says.

No matter the problem Holt says it's about being there for the kids.

"The kids need someone to put their arm around them and let them know they are going to be okay."

That's something little Jerry Payton likes.

"It feels great because I can tell him some things that have happened in my lifetime," Payton says.

By Jaimee Goad

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