What is the weight of failure?
Pain, Death, Sorrow, is how this story starts. A grieving mother whose son died in a tragic car accident. A story of failure. Her son was only 16 years old. For a few months before his death, she had been reaching out to a group of young men to engage with her son and help him through his struggles.
They tried an idea; take her son to a skatepark, bring all of his friends and develop relationships with those kids. The young men showed up at the skatepark at the stated time, but the boy never did.
A few weeks later, these young men were playing music at his funeral, and when the man driving the Hearse needed some extra hands, he asked them to help carry the coffin. With sadness and confusion, David said to Beto “I can’t believe we are carrying the dead body of this young kid we tried to reach out to a few weeks ago.” In that moment, there was something heavier than the coffin itself, it was almost a burden too hard to lift, it was the weight of failure.
More than a hundred kids showed up to Jacob’s funeral. His life ended when his car hit a tree right in front of his High School. Leaving this lingering question in many minds: how can we help kids in the same circumstances as Jacob? How can we engage in their lives and maybe give them a word of advice, a piece of encouragement, a little push to tell them they are of worth and they can make good choices for a better future.
Westside Nights is a story of hope after failure. We can never recoup a lost life, but God is love, and there’s no wall He won’t kick down, there are no boundaries for his heart. We let His love define us.
Mika Youth is part of a Non-profit organization working on the west side of Costa Mesa helping families thrive through community development.
Beto had been meeting for a few years with Mika, where Lucas Davis leads a group of teenagers every Wednesday in a program called Mika Youth. A night at Mika Youth includes fun games, questions, advice, friendship and Hope.
As we ended 2017, some of the community leaders, including Lucas of Mika, Christian Parra of Iglesia Harbor, Beto Gudino and Mike Decker of Palm Harvest Church and people involved in our local Estancia Highschool, the Bargas Family, Brook and Mike (Athletic Director), sat down and thought, how can we help create a fun night like Mika Youth reach a broader audience.
Westside Nights was born to provide an opportunity to work together as a community and engage the younger generation with some of the wisdom and advice, that the older crowd garnered through the years. All in a format that the youth can understand and is appealing to them.