Thank you for this program. It helps me express my feelings. My problem is that my parents are divorced and I feel guilty. I try to tell myself it’s not my fault but I can’t control myself. But your program helps me control my feelings and myself. I also thank you because every time I go to Rainbows I feel much better.Girl, 10
Rainbows has really helped me sort out my feelings and has helped me become more realistic. I also know that other people have problems too…I realize that feelings aren’t good, they aren’t bad, they just are…I feel a lot better about myself.Girl, 14
We talk about things…we share feelings…I have no more bad dreamsBoy, 7
ADULT Interview with John Perks, Rainbows Alumni (posted with permission)
Question: We understand that you joined a Rainbows peer-support group in your elementary school in Oshawa , Ontario . Tell us what life-changing event brought you there?
Yes I did. Well actually there was a chain of events that brought me to where I was at that point. The main thing was the divorce of my parents. I was completely devastated; it shook me to the core. I couldn’t keep my meals down, my bladder wasn’t working properly –basically my body began to shut down. Then to make it worse for me after my parents got divorced, my grandparents passed away. That hurt even more because I was really close to them.
Question: Did your dad try to get you any kind of help prior to Rainbows? How did that work out?
My dad would take me to see Doctors and Psychiatrists, and they would ask me to draw pictures of how I felt, and they would study me. I never felt like that helped me though. I just felt like a patient, sat in a room, with someone thinking that I was crazy.
My Dad really had a huge impact on me. He took the year off work, just so he could be home with me to help me and my sister get through the massive adjustment in our lives. Without my dad, I don\'t know where I would be today.
Question: So, what was it about belonging to a Rainbows group that was working for you? Was it just the other kids in the same, or similar, situation, or the caring adults who listened, or something else entirely?
Well I think the one thing that we cannot discredit here, is the amazing teachers that run this program. Eileen Ethier was an angel in disguise to me. The way she would genuinely care, and bring a sense of love and compassion was overwhelming. In Rainbows I was not just another statistic or a charity case, I was an individual along with other people sharing similar stories to mine. We all had the same pain though, and we all worked through it together. I think it’s a hard thing to describe the work of the Rainbows program – especially if you haven’t lost someone dear to you –but if you have, then you will remember the pain that nothing in the \\\"natural\\\" could cure. It was a dark, deep, pain that you felt in your heart. But Rainbows actually helps to lift that pain and work through it, and it brings us closer with each other and with our families. It takes the pain, and the blame that we often lay on ourselves, and tells us, \"CELEBRATE YOU!\" It’s okay to be you, and you are loved!
Question: John , tell us about your chosen life\'s work at this point in time.
Well going through such a rough past, I decided that I wanted to help teens go though the very same thing that I felt. You know the sad truth is, I am not a rare case! I am 1 IN 3…this is a major epidemic in this country! So I set my mind that I wanted to reach out to other youth at risk, and the youth that are hiding their feelings of hurt and pain – those that look normal on the outside, but on the inside they are desperate for something to change in their lives. That’s why I started a charity called \\\"Rescue Ministries\\\" which is registered with the government of Canada . Our whole heartbeat is to help families and teenagers that are having a rough time just like I went though. If you would like more information on the charity, then you can log on to www.rescueministries.ca to find out more. I speak all across the country sharing my story. I would recommend you share your story too! I promise you that there is someone waiting to hear it!
Question: How do you think Rainbows has impacted on the man you are today?
Well during my time at Bible collage, I met an amazing woman of God who became my wife in May of 2010. Eileen Ethier was there to share the day with us, and now I know I will be a better dad, husband, and leader because of Rainbows and their impact in my life. I am only 20 years old, and I’m married – can you believe it!!! My wife, Marivick Perks, is such a joy and I love spending time with her! Without Rainbows, and definitely without God, I wouldn’t be where I am now. So to all who support this amazing cause, THANK YOU! Not just from me, but the tens of thousands of us that have the same storyJohn Perks (Adult)
Rainbows is not responsible for errors in translation