POINTING YOUTH TO A PURPOSE-FILLED LIFE
Nineteen-year-old Joy Basta is a presenter on the SAT-7 KIDS’ program A Riddle and a Story. Being raised a pastor’s son and surrounded by church community did not exempt Joy from negative pressures at school. He shares his experience and gives insight into the struggles of the region’s youth today.
“Although I attended a Christian school, it was in a very rough area. Everything you could imagine was happening there: drug dealing, sexual abuse, and fist fights… it breaks my heart,” Joy reflects.
His family, like many, were unaware of the poor learning environment. Joy expresses that the disparity between home and school life was incredibly confusing, even though biblical morals were taught in both places:
“It was so corrupt, yet I was being educated with Christian values.” He sympathises with young people struggling to find their identity – particularly if being guided towards an ideal while seeing a very different reality.
LACK OF MENTORSHIP
Joy says that many teenagers lack clear direction from their parents, who are busy working to provide for them. Some are frustrated by the hypocrisy of their role models, especially in Christian schools, so they often turn to harmful habits in rebellion and hope to find purpose.
“I think many families only have one focus for their kids: ‘study and get an education – then you can do what you want with your life.’ There is a lack of nurturing, mentorship, and teaching of healthy values. Because of that, people here grow up not respecting authority, rules, or regulations.”
Joy says he does not only want to be a good example but change the views of youth.
“We have been going down to the streets, myself and a few friends, to meet youngsters and share our faith. I invite them to church and to watch SAT-7. I tell them that I know we don’t live in the best area and that the future does not seem bright – because I’ve lived it – but the only hope for the future is in Jesus.”