Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Prayer changes things

I first started teaching Youth Sunday School maybe, 3 years ago. We started out with one student ; now we have between 15 to 19 students and I've been there through it all. I've taught some really great kids and some not so great kids but I have to say I've loved them all. Maybe two years ago a child started coming to class that was a HUGE challenge. Honestly, I almost gave up teaching because of some of those challenges. This child's mother is a drug addict. She has not been a very good parent to him and it really showed. He had a HUGE chip on his shoulder and was very disruptive. A family at our church took to this child and I slowly started seeing him loosen up. I will never forget the day I saw a true smile from this boy and it lit the room up! I really worked so hard to make him feel welcome but he was very disruptive and I was constantly having to get on to him. One Sunday it came to a head and he told me he thought I was prejudiced. He thought that I was getting after him because of the color of his skin and THAT had NOTHING to do with it!! I was so hurt and that's the day that I almost gave up teaching. I knew that I was not helping him, especially if he thought that the reason I was getting after him was racially motivated.

The family I spoke of earlier took him in and he lived with them for awhile. They are a GREAT family and the change I saw in him was significant. I finally saw him smile...and I couldn't help but exclaim, " You've lit the room up with your smile!" He was beautiful when he smiled. I couldn't believe the transformation that a simple smile had on him. It was amazing! His shoulder chip was cracking, he was loosening up and he was really taking a part in class. If I saw him start to get that "look", I would just ask him for a smile and he'd give it to me. It was great.

One day he came to class and he was like he originally was, withdrawn, sullen and cranky. Just biting everyone's head off. I quietly asked him if I'd done something to upset him and he just wouldn't answer. So after class, I went to the family , they spoke with him and then gave me an opportunity to speak to him. Then they asked him to give me a hug...that was a tense moment. I didn't want him to hug me if he wasn't comfortable! So I said, You don't have to... He hugged me and held on so tight, I thought I was going to cry. But I was also about to fall so I had to let him go...have you ever gone into a hug and your feet weren't right? I literally thought I was going to crash into him and knock him down...I hate that I had to end that hug!!

Eventually he went to live with his aunt and uncle. I heard reports that he was making the honor roll and looking at colleges! I marvelled at the change in this young man. At one time we were worried that he was going to be another statistic but he turned his life around and made a HUGE change in his future. He's recently moved back and it's such a joy to see him. There's no burden on his shoulders, he smiles all the time and he's....HAPPY. Wow.

I went to the grocery store today and as I was checking out, an elderly lady came up to me and asked if she could cut in line in front of me. She was very old and almost bent double because of her back. The lady had already started ringing me up , so I couldn't help her but as I was explaining it to her, the young man we 've been talking about came up to her and he said he'd seen her drop a $5 and he handed it to her. She took it but I never heard her thank him, maybe she did but I didn't hear her. As we were walking out of the store I looked and that same young man was at her car unloading her groceries into her car! Then he took her cart for her! What a gentlemen, how impressive. I was so pround in that moment, proud of him and the young man he's become. To see all those frantic prayers answered in him is amazing. I praise the Lord for the changes I see in him.

I told him, "That's awesome what you just did" He answered back, "I try"

He helped that lady, the way others have helped him and he even did it with his beautiful smile.
To God be the Glory!!



  1. AMEN!!! He does have a great smile! That family did a great job (would we expect anything less from them?!) He definitely has potential in life. We still need to pray big time for him! I always had a special place in my heart for him and when he asked me to be his friend on that social network... I realized how blessed I am to work with these youth!! :) Thanks for sharing!! I didn't know he worked at Food Lion!!! That was quick!!

  2. What a beautiful story! I have tears in my eyes!!

  3. Thank you Marci, I did too. You have no idea just HOW miraculous this all is.

    Chele, he doesn't work there but he was in there with Kim. Definitely keep praying for him but what a special kid he is. I'm going to talk about it on Sunday. What an inspiration, they should all take notes from what he did.

  4. That is a wonderful story. I have worked w/ youth as well and it can be hard. What an inspiration to keep on, and never give up on a kid!

  5. What a wondeful story. I have worked with youth as well. It can be so hard some time. Great inspiration to never give up on a kid, or on God! Thanks