At first glance, sixth-grader Michael* and first-grader James* seem like an odd pair—but their friendship has taken on a greater purpose.

A Rocky Past

When sixth-grader Michael first came to Zuni Christian Mission School, a Resonate Global Mission partner in New Mexico, he didn’t expect to stick around for very long. He spent most of his life moving from foster home to foster home, and from school to school, and he wasn't used to staying anywhere for more than a couple of months. Michael’s constant movement and family history left deep emotional scarring—he didn’t trust just anyone. When he started school at Zuni, his rebellious acts regularly landed him in the principal’s office.

But then he met James, a first-grade student with a similar background. James’ teachers often sent him to the principal’s office, too. “He couldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer,” said principal Tim Becksvoort, reflecting on James’ outbursts of anger.

Despite the age difference, Michael and James became friends.

A Providential Pairing

“It just kind of happened. I’m not sure I could tell you exactly when or where,” said Tim. “They really get each other in a way that others don’t.”

Tim calls Michael and James’ friendship an example of “divine providence.” When Zuni’s staff members recognized the bond between the two students, they encouraged them to spend more time with one another.

Tim said Michael and James’ friendship has changed both of the students’ lives. For Michael especially, helping James has given him a “purpose beyond himself” and has changed the way he functions at school.

“He still struggles, but not even close to as much as before,” said Tim. Before Michael became friends with James, his mistakes would often domino throughout the day. He’d slip up once and then throw in the towel, resulting in a day’s worth of misbehavior.

“[Now,] he’s able to walk himself back,” said Tim. He said Michael is more truthful and calm.

Thank you for supporting Resonate partners like Zuni Christian Mission School as the staff goes provides a safe and loving place where students can thrive.

“[God] is working through his people,” said Tim. “Our school just happens to be the place.”


*Names have been changed for privacy.

United States