Debrial Thomas is an unassuming, 16-year-old girl with a deep soul that yearns for love and change. Debrial is quiet upon first meeting, but she is fiercely loyal and joyful. Her laugh is constant and very contagious. There is a subtle overflow of wisdom and truth that can easily go unnoticed because she is saturated with humility.
For her third summer, Debrial has returned to the Leadership Intensive. Last year, she worked as a part-time intern, which is a normal work position. This year, she is returning as a full-time intern, which is a position for students who have shown leadership skills. Debrial has been involved in Mercy Street for several years. Currently, she has a mentor (top picture) and is involved in Merge, a bi-weekly bible study, and Street Teams, a discipleship group.
In her deep, dark eyes there are hope and love as Debrial talks about how Mercy Street has changed her life. Its"changed my life because I’m starting to do things that I never thought I could do because of my race and where I grew up and where I’m from. That’s something you can’t get anywhere else.” Mercy Street has dramatically changed the way Debrial views herself and her life.
Debrial exudes happiness as she shares her passion of people. “The best way to help people is through the Word of God.” She can willingly share the Word of God to help people since becoming a Christian. As she tells the story of her baptism, she brightens up. Through her street team leaders, she came to an understanding of what baptism means and was able to get baptized last year.
If there were no limits on dreams and possibilities, innumerable amounts of people would choose fame and fortune. The American Dream is centered around money, a sense of community, and temporal success. In the old, pot-holed streets of West Dallas, where construction never seems to end, Debrial does not wish for more money, a secure home free of crisis, or even a perfect family. “I want to be somebody that isn't famous for what they had but what they gave, and not in physical things.” She went on to explain that she does not desire to even be considered a role model, because she hates superiority. Debrial strives to be someone who is generous, loving, and bold and she is all of those attributes.
Without Mercy Street, this version of Debrial would not exist and that would be a shame. Debrial had a spark in her eye and a confident, undeniable smile as she said, "I've never been the same after Mercy Street."