Amarah's Corner: Amarah’s 150th column

Jesus said in Matthew 25:40 (KJV), “Whatever you’ve done unto the least of these (kids and/or adults), you’ve done it unto me.”

Kids like me are kids and adults of all ages whose parents are, or were, drug addicts, and alcoholics; kids who have suffered, or who are suffering, abuse and neglect on multiple levels; and kids who are victims of bullying.

Hey, Kids Like Me! I have a surprise for you this Easter! Please, go to the Church of Christ at 408 Victoria Ave., Alamosa, this Saturday, April 20, from 1-6 p.m. My Easter gift to you is The ACTION Bible. I want to give everyone one of these Bibles, but for now, they are exclusively for Kids Like Me, and one per family. Every chapter in The ACTION Bible is sketched into a Bible story by an internationally recognized artist, Mr. Sergio Cariello. This kids Bible is so outstanding it won the ECPA Medallion of Excellence Christian Book Award!

Also, I want you to know that kids like me don’t just live in America. I found a story about a kid like me who lives in London, England, and I want to share it with you:

John’s Story

How our Family Environment: Drug-using Parents (FEDUP) service helped John find hope…

I knew from a young age that my life was different to other children. While friends’ families sat round the table and had dinner together, my dad was asleep on the sofa by 6 p.m. I used to think, “why’s he so tired? He’s done nothing all day.” I’d make noises to try and keep him awake. I knew something wasn’t right.

The house was a state. There were broken windows and we had no wallpaper. We always had lots of people in the house, too. They’d arrive at weird times like 2 a.m. or 6 a.m. and be really noisy. My dad had told me my mother was in prison for drugs and I slowly began to realize that he was a drug user, too.

I’d spend a lot of time in my room to get away from my dad and his friends taking drugs downstairs. He never came to tuck me in; instead he’d pass out on the sofa. I felt so lonely and scared. I was only young, but I felt a huge sense of responsibility. Dad would give me $2.62 as pocket money or for food and then he’d ask for it back. He’d spend as much as $52 a day on heroin, but only $13 per week on food.

When I was about 9-years-old, a man overdosed in my house. I remember seeing him on the floor in our bathroom next to a needle, and lots of blood. I was scared and didn’t know what to do, but my dad just told me to go to my room. Soon after that I was referred to the NSPCC’s FEDUP program, which does group work with children whose parents have drug or alcohol problems.

I was a bit nervous the first time I went to the NSPCC’s FEDUP service. The nerves didn’t last long though — I loved it. We played games together with our NSPCC worker, Sally. The games helped her find out more about what we were going through. But they also helped me escape the doom and gloom at home. Over time, I was able to get things off my chest instead of bottling my feelings up. I learned what experiences other people in the group had as well, so I didn’t feel so alone.

The NSPCC also taught me practical things in a fun way. I learned what to do if there was a fire in the house. My dad had started a fire when he fell asleep on the sofa with a cigarette, so this session was really good. And we learned first aid, like how to put our parents in the recovery position.

Sally also encouraged us to find a trusted adult to go to when things got bad at home. For me that was my nana. I’d often stay at her house during the weekends to have a break from home. My dad wouldn’t do any washing or buy me new clothes when I needed them, so nana helped me with that. I knew I could talk to Sally about whatever was bothering me at home.

“The NSPCC gave me the consistency that was missing in my life. Going there made me want to help other people and now I’m going to university to do a social work degree. Before being helped by the FEDUP program I wasn’t living properly, I was just going through the motions. But the NSPCC made me feel like there was a new world out there.”

The NSPCC, Weston House, 42 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3NH. Incorporated by Royal Charter. Retrieved from

Every childhood is worth fighting for!

Until next time, remember, Jesus Loves You, and Jesus is Lord!