This is Kean.

When he was born, his dad “didn’t exactly believe [he] was his child for a year.” His mom took care of him until she started running into problems when she was “getting in with the wrong people.” His grandma won full custody of him when he was 3 years old. (Since then his dad has been more involved in his life and has been able to have full visitations with him.)

This summer, Kean, 13, was able to go to middle school camp, and he had never been away from a family member for more than a day.

Monday was a breeze for him. He was hanging out, enjoying the games, worship music, and the sermon. By Tuesday night, he was beginning to feel anxious and afraid because his grandma wasn't nearby to comfort and pray for him. Eventually he fell asleep while texting his grandma. 

Wednesday started out with the low level anxiety he had the night before. He missed having family close at hand. He was constantly comforted by his new friends staying with him and Paule sitting with him as his anxiety attacks intensified. Paule was in communication with his grandma and she left the decision up to Kean as to whether or not he would stay at camp.

Kean decided to stay. He was having such a good time with his friends and he did not want to leave. With the help of Paule and his friends, he felt like he could stay. “Having people on my side to help me is what got me through it,” he said.

His grandma drove up later that day and stayed Wednesday evening and Thursday to help with camp. Meanwhile, Kean continued to do his best and enjoy camp. He swam in the river, talked with his friends, played games, rode the zip line, and played carpet ball (his personal favorite).

Even though he moved away from everyone he knew this summer and is now on the Palouse, Kean is glad to have his new friends and already looks forward to next year’s camp. He hopes to be able to spend more time away from family without anxiety attacks. He also feels called to ministry one day and is ready to see how God continues to make his path clearer.