Week after week we talk to the boys at Hickey hoping that the message of Jesus will make a difference in their lives. We know that they are listening, discussing, and connecting to the message but we often don’t always know if it is making a difference, if there is fruit.
One young man, Terrell, stood out through his treatment of a young man with mental health issues, Jake. I was impressed when Jake shared how helpful Terrell was to Jake in trying to keep him on the right road and out of trouble.
My admiration for Terrell expanded after an incident two weeks ago. We were studying the topic of manhood and the different elements that were needed to move from childhood to manhood. We discussed issues of responsibility, courageous leadership, and taking initiative.
As we were starting our session, loud distressful voices came from an adjacent room. It was clear that a boy was acting out and that staff members were working hard to deescalate the situation. The noise level was so high that all the guys in our group were greatly distracted. Terrell suddenly spoke up and said. “We should pray!” Without missing a beat, the seven boys rose to their feet, formed a circle and we prayed for peace to come over the unit and for the peace of the young man. God answered this prayer immediately, the boy calmed down and the episode was over.
After the study I grabbed Terrell by the shoulders and told him how impressed I was that he had shown such initiative by seeing a need for prayer and then boldly leading the group to pray for a tough situation. It’s clear that Terrell’s faith is growing and that his actions testify to a relationship with Jesus. This is fruit that makes a difference in his life and in the lives of others! I can’t recall the details of the planned lesson that evening, what I will always remember is that wonderful interruption of a teen who wanted to call on God for help.