My Abundant Life Story: Hannibal Reid Jr.

Aug 18, 2018|Written By: Hannibal Reid, Jr.

I am Hannibal Reid Jr, a college student at Old Dominion University, proud and successful member of Abundant Life, and a believer in the Abundant Life process. I was initially introduced to Abundant Life through STRIVE and was fortunate to have two awesome mentors, Jed Metge and Chris Stine. I remember feeling blessed to have someone else care for my future and the steps it took to succeed other than my immediate family. Abundant Life has given me their patience and care, and it inspired me to do the same for the youth that come from a similar background as myself. When I was awarded the opportunity to guide a group of young men in the 5/8 Summer Program, I took advantage of every opportunity I had to help because I knew these were life changing events.

Abundant Life 5/8 Summer Camp was always full of fun and laughter for the young men as well as the leaders, even in the learning moments. Just like life itself there were ups and downs for the camp, but fortunately our ups exceedingly prevailed over the downs. Even through our downs, the young men were reminded of their success and that these low moments were only obstacles to overcome and learn from, not simply moments of judgement. The youth were also reminded that they are young men and not children. Reinforcing a notion that they were children does not encourage taking personal responsibility. We emphasized that they were young men because we wanted them to know that now is the time to take responsibility and control for making decisions that will point them in the right direction.

“Abundant Life has given me their patience and care, and it inspired me to do the same for the youth that come from a similar background as myself.”

The 5/8 Summer Camp was six weeks long and each day started early with laughter as we picked up students in the morning. During breakfast each day we had a Bible study. Shortly after breakfast the youth would engage in an ice breaker event that required them to practice unity and brotherhood. Also during the summer we conducted service projects by tutoring 1st grade students in summer school. At the end of the day we always played the young men’s favorite game, dodgeball. This of course was my favorite game because I always created rivalries with the guys. At the very end of the game efforts were made to model and encourage good sportsmanship and we closed the day with brotherly love as we discussed various moments from that day before going home.

Throughout the day youth were given opportunity to openly communicate their feelings and expectations. To live an abundant life, each individual has to know that they’re responsible for their own actions and that these decisions either positively or negatively affect the whole group. This was a work in progress as we reminded the young men every day that they were not in the world alone and that true happiness can come from living humbly and abundantly with God. It was a great summer. I hope to be a part of the camp again next summer!

Hannibal Reid Jr. is a Class of 2015 STRIVE graduate studying Criminal Justice at Old Dominion University.

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