I recently met with four young men at Linn-Benton County juvenile detention and for a while, it seemed like the themes of abandonment, loss, and confusion…in other words, HOPELESSNESS was going to win out. Have you ever been in a conversation that you know is going the wrong way but you weren’t sure how to get it to turn the corner? Fortunately, Jesus had been speaking to me about troubles and feelings of hopelessness and so he had already prepared my heart and mind with Paul’s words from 2 Corinthians 4 – about how God will never abandon us and how we can always have hope because of him! I read this passage to them out of the Life Application Bible and saw something click as I read, “We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” In the application section it said, “…we may think we are at the end of our rope, we are never at the end of our hope.”
We also listened to Tim Hawkins sing a song from his comedy video “Insanitized” where the lyrics said, “Jesus gave me new life.” Click this link to listen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxSfeT4OrR4. In this tough conversational moment, the combination of Scripture and song got through what otherwise was looking to be a dark, dead-end moment. I wish you could have been with me as the conversation turned to how a relationship with Jesus could transform their lives and give them new hope. Tonight, I’m heading back to detention to have a follow up visit with them and continue to encourage them on understanding what it means to let God lead their life. I’m looking forward to sharing this prayer with them and helping them remember (or learn) what the upcoming Easter season represents.
“Father God, you have designed a plan for my salvation. It is truly a gift that should not be taken lightly nor should it be taken for granted. I thank you for knowing that it is only by YOUR blood that I am cleansed. I ask that you would cleanse me now, help me to repent of the things that I need to rid of, in order for me to be a clean vessel to serve Your Kingdom.” (written by Whitney Sabins)
As we look forward to Easter, will you join me in praying for these four young men specifically? They are hungry for the promises of Christ and I have the privilege of reminding them of the HOPE that is available to them.
Bringing HOPE to the hopeless,
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We’re celebrating 50 years of ministry in the
Mid-Valley! And, we’re moving forward.
What is SEE THE STORY? In June, twice a week we’ll take small groups to one of our ministry site locations where you’ll see the facility, meet the staff and youth, and hear about how we’re meeting the spiritual needs of incarcerated youth.
We would love for you to join us!
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More details coming soon!
Bringing Hope to the Hopeless
Mid-Valley Youth for Christ
Juvenile Justice Ministry
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