It was a late night yesterday for me–or an early morning, depending on how you measure it–but it was awesome! I got home from the men’s group around 8:30, and I planned to talk with James and Seth about some issues going on. They were both gone, so cooked up a pizza then grabbed my guitar and spent some time worshiping. That was probably the best thing I could’ve done (the worship, not the pizza).
When they came home, I never got around to the issue I wanted to bring up. (In fact, worshiping and getting my heart right had made it no longer an issue, anyhow.) Instead, we talked about Jesus for the next 4 hours. We prayed, laughed, cried some even, spent some time worshiping, shared how Jesus has been leading us, shared our concerns and questions… It was great. I got to encourage both of them with the calling on their lives and challenge them to give themselves fully to that call. Man, it was great.
Seth moved in with me early in November 2011. He spent his childhood moving all over the place as his mom went from one relationship to another, one job to another. He remembers the first time his mother beat him; he was four years old. Later, his mom got upset with his sister and shook her so hard that she died. Through it all, he was constantly told that he’d never amount to anything and that he was worthless. But the worst part was that Seth’s mom continued to go faithfully to church, acting as if everything was normal while at home things were falling apart for the family. Things were falling apart for Seth, too, as the deaths of two close friends brought him closer to suicide. Thankfully, he somehow held on. When I met Seth, he was 19, kicked out of his step-dad’s house when his mom left for another guy, and unequivocally atheist. But things have changed. Drastically. He’s a Christian now, loves Jesus, and is even learning to forgive his mom. I cannot say what the next few months will bring for Seth, but it’s sure to be great!
James moved in just over a week ago. His mom was only 16 when she had him, and his birth dad left before he was even born. As a kid, his family moved form one military base to another, but stability came with their religious observance. Church, however, did not keep his mom from reminding James how she could have had an abortion, in fact, how she wished she would have. And it did not keep him from getting into drugs as a teenager. Tension increased in his family and eventually ended with James living out of his car. The final straw came when he lost his job. It was then that he realized he needed something drastic to get his life back on track. So he drove half-way across the country to Spring Green, ready to start things afresh. In the last week, James gave up cigarettes, quit running from God, and has been reconnecting with Jesus. I am truly excited about what God has in store for him in the next few months.
Pray for both Seth and James to continue to grow stronger in their faith and more like Jesus. Also pray for their jobs and housing for over summer. I’m leaving in two weeks, so they’re running out of time for finding a place to stay.