Last month, several volunteers from OWLAD were privileged to go to our local youth detention center. We had been the month before and because another group could not go in October, we were offered the chance again.
Since I don’t believe in coincidences, I know God orchestrated this time of sharing with these youth. The reason I say this is that our son, Rob, agreed to go and share with the residents. They ranged in age from 12 to 16 years old. So sad to see them making destructive life changing choices at such an early age. Some were in for murder. Oh how early the enemy grabs the young, once innocent, souls.
We shared from Luke 15 about the prodigal son and how he left home and ended up in the pig pen before heading back home. Rob shared his journey as a prodigal. He urged them not to travel down the same path he did. He shared about having to go to prison and that it is definitely not a party or a party time. He is often able to discern from their attitude and stance whether they are going to make positive changes or be right back on the street. This time he noticed a young man who was very attentive and asking questions. He spent some time talking with him alone, encouraging him to return to his studies and his involvement with football. He also encouraged him to avoid activities with old friends. This young man seemed to engage with what was shared and showed promise of turning his life around.
Next, one of our mothers shared from her heart about both her daughters who had served time. She continues to pray for one daughter who has not come home. Afterwards, we were able to sit down and share with the youth one on one.
After talking more with Rob, two of the guys wanted to pray to receive Christ and others rededicated their life in answer to our prayers. We were so grateful for the chance to share God’s love with those young people. We pray it will make an impact and that they will begin to make wiser choices. Hopefully, they will think about what they heard and it will be a deterrent in the future.
We literally had to drag Rob out as he continued to warn the kids and encourage them to change their direction before it led to prison. Maybe he is beginning to realize God’s call on his life. He displayed a tender caring heart and the kids seemed to respond well to his sharing.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth.
-3 John 1:4