“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
Thank you for taking a minute to open this letter and read what God is up to in the lives of young people. He is the star in the stories we share and the life change we celebrate. In a time when people love to hate, let us love to persevere in doing good, expecting a harvest!
I want to share with you the story of a young girl who I’ll call “Lisa.” Lisa’s life has been rougher than most. She ran away as a pre-teen with a 26-year-old. She was trafficked for two years and prayed that God would pick her up to get her off the streets. And God did! That’s how she ended up in a Fresno Group Home and met YFC.
Lisa gave her life to the Lord and this last Thursday was processing her fear of getting released from her group home and going back home. Home is where drugs are and where her past waits. Will she go back into the old life? Our YFC staff member Sylvia had the chance to talk with Lisa about boundaries and to remind her of the truth: you are a new creation in Christ, the old has gone, the new has come. Lisa got to hear point blank from another godly woman that her old life has no hold or claim on her.
Lisa’s response to this conversation was profound. I’ve never been baptized, she said, can you baptize me? Sylvia is newer to YFC so she was unsure how we handle situations like this. Our best practice is to ensure a kid is rooted in a church family and that everyone who is a part of their story is involved in a moment like that. But Lisa was leaving town to go back home in just a few weeks and was asking to be baptized right then. What would you do?
While Sylvia considered how to respond, another teen chimed in. This kid is on fire for Jesus, goes to Northpointe church, and boldly says “I’ll baptize you.” So in the pool they went with one kid asking the other about their understanding of what Jesus did for them and if they intended to follow him. Lisa was baptized on August 25th in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit at the Campus Life Center.
Baptism can be a divisive subject among Christians with the when, where, and how of it. But don’t miss the God story that was going on. Lisa wanted to be baptized to remember she was a new creation. Lisa was going back to the scene of her trauma and wanted to live the new life in Christ that she started living here in Fresno with YFC.
Friends, there are a lot more Lisa’s out there than we are comfortable knowing about. Each one that encounters Christ and moves from death to life is a testament to the transforming power of God. It’s what I want for every kid to have. Let us not grow weary of doing good!