We had been praying God would illuminate his potent love to somebody that day. The boys walked single file in their green uniforms with baby faces and wide eyes. Everyone- from volunteers to the speaker- greeted each kid as they entered the gym. The room filled with anticipation and anxiety.
After the youth settled in, the speaker introduced himself and began to share his story. It started with a mother who had a drug addiction, escalated to family dysfunction that landed him in the foster system before the age of 13. He then shared how the foster family that took him in were followers of Jesus. They loved him radically. Even at his worst they loved him. He shared how their love led him to repentance and faith in
Every eye was locked on the speaker. He concluded by inviting those who desired to know Jesus to meet with volunteers who waited in the back. As soon as the invitation was made, each young man stood, and then, slowly, inched their way back. Except one, the young man sitting to my right.
I turned towards him to spark small talk, but he was shaking, his face was twisted in a knot. Soon he broke and streams of pain ran from his eyes. I and another volunteer rushed to bear his burden. We were asking what had broken him this way. But for a couple of minutes, he couldn’t get the words out.
Eventually, he just pointed to where the speaker was standing and said, “That’s me.” I was excited at the movement of the Holy Spirit, but I didn’t want to further overwhelm him. The young man continued to open up about his mother being addicted to heroin and himself being admitted into the foster system. Other than this, he just wept. So did I, and the others who had gathered with him. We wept.
The volunteers and I prayed over his life. It felt intuitive to lead him to a practical response at this time, but the Lord reminded me that at this moment, nothing is more practical than weeping with those who weep (Romans 12:15). This is the humble ministry of bearing burdens and fervent prayer.
Praise God for the work that he does not only in the youth we serve but in us as ministers. Please pray that God would raise up more workers for the harvest here at YFC.
Written by Rob Norton