Praising Through The Pain


Renee Matthews was in the prime of her life at 40 years of age when she died a week ago, leaving behind 4 children, 3 of whom are active in SAYM. Pictured above is Renee’s daughter 8 year old Zarria singing a duet as a tribute to her Mother and to her Lord Jesus Christ.

How does a person praise during the pain of losing a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend? God wants us to express our thoughts and feelings with Him; He wants us to be honest with Him and others. God doesn’t expect “keep a stiff upper lip” and stuff your emotions response to expressly painful situations in our lives. God wants us to understand and know that He is sovereign and in total control. Nothing takes God by surprise. God wants us to trust Him always. Even in the midst of tribulations; perhaps, especially in the midst of tribulations, He desires our complete trust. Why? How?

Why does God deserve our trust? God the Father willingly, sent and gave His only begotten Son to die for a sinful world, and in so doing, Jesus paid a debt He did not owe. Jesus the Son of God, asked His Father to find another way to satisfy the Father’s wrath against the world’s sin; yet Jesus willingly submitted to His Father’s will. In the midst of His painful beating and crucifixion, Jesus felt the hurt of His friends abandoning Him, He felt the indignity of the Jewish people yelling “crucify Him,” and He felt the total “aloneness” even from His Father. Jesus was honest with the Father on the cross as His Father “turned His back” on Jesus, saying “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” We can trust Jesus with all we feel because He has felt it too, to the extreme. He has been there.

How does a person praise in the midst of trouble and suffering? The Bible tells us “to cast our cares on Him, because He cares for us.” In the middle of suffering, it sure doesn’t seem like He cares, but think about it…..God the Father gave His only Son for our salvation. Jesus gave Himself, He stepped out of heaven to take on the form of a man and willingly endured the pain of the cross, and the Father’s wrath, which He didn’t earn, in order to secure our salvation. If God loves us that much, to give everything, surely God has earned our trust, even in suffering for which we do not understand.

What does this all have to do with SAYM. Because we who serve at SAYM, some as ministry leadership, some as donors, some as volunteers, all know what it cost God to purchase our redemption. Therefore, when God called us to serve Him through this ministry in various capacities, we are honored to say “yes.” And when our SAYM children and students have a crisis, we have established a relationship to be welcomed to come along side of the hurting to offer comfort, prayers, encouragement, even financial support. It is a comfort to know that Renee gave her heart to Jesus as a teenager, for we shall meet again in heaven. Please pray for the children and the family, that “the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard their hearts and their minds in Christ Jesus.”

SAYM Boys “Enjoy” Browns Loss

SAYM Boys D Browns Game 9-27-15SAYM Boys at Browns game 9-27-15SAYM Boys C Browns game 9-27-15

SAYM was called into being by God to serve the children and students in East Akron; to come along side these precious young people; to develop relationships which would allow love, acceptance, teaching, and guidance to instill values and a perspective that God calls on all who are able to work and provide for themselves and their families. Further, we aspire and actively encourage excellence in academics to prepare oneself for a life of God given and blessed vocation. Hope is not in abundant supply in the neighborhoods in which we serve. Developing a work ethic, some work history, and a basic skill set through our work program helps to develop hope in ones future. SAYM encourages and then rewards our high school students for achieving academic excellence which develops hope in ones future. Building relationships with volunteer leaders who are a constant in their lives and who consistently love on these children and teach Sunday School type lessons and associated God honored values helps develop a hope in ones future. Spending time with the students in school or at other activities outside of our group mentoring sessions communicates that the student has value and that they are loved; but also allows quality time to impart values and challenge their current worldview perspective. Even taking boys to watch a crappy Browns team sort of play football qualifies in the prospect of pouring hope into these young people. But the greatest “hope tool” for the personal toolbox of each of these youth, is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Hearing and understanding that God is real; that all have sinned and are in need of a Savior; and that God loves us so much, that God provided the way of salvation through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.  The youth tend to understand the lesson of “The Trade.” The righteousness of Jesus Christ, offered to an individual, in exchange for their sin. Once the young person(or any other person for that matter), understands and accepts this prescription as the antidote for their disease; true and everlasting hope is the result. How can one not be hopeful when they realize that they have become an adopted child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and that they will spend eternity with the Triune God in heaven? And the wonderful kicker to winning with this trade……that eternity starts the millisecond one of these youth make “the trade” with God. What a privilege we have been given to share in the development of hope in the youth of East Akron, with the Gospel being the greatest gift we can present; sometimes, even often, we get to use words to share this gift.

SAYM Girls Enjoy Summer “Field Trips”


The children are back in school and SAYM leaders are back in full swing mentoring our girls during the school year. Why just during the school year? Why not year round as we do maintaining our mentoring program with our boys all year?  I am thankful … [Continue reading]

SAYM High School Boys Give Back

East Akron Parade clean up

The East Akron community has a proud tradition of organizing a Labor Day parade and this year was no different. The various churches, youth organizations, and community leaders, including Mayoral candidates Eddie Sipplen and Daniel Horrigan gathered … [Continue reading]

Northern Ohio Golf Charities Grant Provides 4th SAYM Van


Thanks be to God for His wonderful provision. SAYM has experienced blessed growth in attendance for our mentoring programs which dictated we pursue a fourth van. SAYM Board President Michael Robinson was selected to participate in Leadership Akron's … [Continue reading]

Board Bullets

* $50,000 individual donation offers new opportunities for SAYM to expand. * We reviewed the 3 year vision statement that is being developed. * Our second year of the Youth Employment program starts in September with the first training session on … [Continue reading]

High School Girls Earn Money For Scholastic Excellence

Girls AIM 3rd qtr 2015 B

SAYM believes the chains of generational poverty may be broken with the building of trusted relationships, and with instilling an appreciation of investing in oneself by gaining a quality education. SAYM mentoring programs are designed to … [Continue reading]

Thank You – Funding Sponsors

LINK To Full Screen View … [Continue reading]

SAYM 5th Annual Golf Outing A Success!


    SAYM held our 5th Annual Golf Outing on Monday June 22 at Ohio Prestwick Country Club in Uniontown, Ohio. It was a brilliant sunny day and for the second time in five years, there was no rain on the event. 72 golfers participated and … [Continue reading]

Elem Girls End Of School Year Party


How can one mix great food and fun with a mixture of sadness? First, the fun part. The SAYM Elementary School girls program is for K thru 6th grade, and the girls had a blast at their end of school year party. We opened the party for 41 girls with a … [Continue reading]