Today we went out in the city of Flint to do outreach, we were laughing and having a great time with everyone who dropped by for pizza and prayer. A carload of young men pulled up, tatted and looking pretty rough. One appeared to be a white boy, one was clearly mixed and one appeared to have a Spanish heritage and white or black but clearly mixed. They pulled up in a van and Michael asked them if they wanted something to eat and offered them prayer. The one young man of mixed heritage said yes I need prayer. The men surrounded the car but he preceded to get out because he wanted to hold hands. They prayed for him and I walked over and he gave me a hug. It was so sweet.
I had heard him mention his dad had passed away so I offered my condolences, he proceeded to tell me a story.
“He said his dad passed away when he was a young man, he told me his mom is black but his dad was white. He said he did not remember his dad but he was strongly affected by his absence. He said he wants to do right and every day he asks God to forgive him for what he did wrong and the things he is going to do wrong because he has to live”.
I was moved by his sweet spirit and his tough outer exterior. I saw the sweet boy trapped inside the young man who needed to do any and everything to survive. He kept hugging me and telling me he loved me. I wanted to cry but I could tell that my tears was not what he needed. I put on my brave face and offered him whatever help I could. I told him that if he found himself in a situation and needed help, to call Michael. I gave him Michaels business card and another hug.
Meanwhile the kid from the front seat began to educate us on the bloods and the crips, yes the gangs. He explained the crips set the stage for WIC and community outreach. He then explained he was a loced out crip LOC, and did whatever was necessary to survive. We spent about 30 minutes talking and making sure they ate. The driver was saying his LOC meant Love of Christ because he had a family now and he was trying to get the others to grow up too. I guess he forgot he had told me he had not been home in 3 days because they were getting money. But hey, I can’t judge him.
At the end of the 30 minutes one of the young men told me he would see me at church in the morning! He even gave me his phone number so I can call and remind him.
There were many people who stopped by today but those three boys reminded me that life is happening right here in Flint. Gangs are still active and they still have to make life altering choices each and every day to survive.
As much as those boys think we helped them, I know for a fact that they helped me. They reminded me of what my life could have been. I was once a young person who did not always make good choices and I thank God he put enough people in my life to show me there was more to life than what I saw every day.
I say all this to to ask you to pray for these kids and all kids who have to make choices that we as adults are never faced with.
“We should think about each other to see how we can encourage each other to show love and do good works.”Hebrews 10:24 ERV http://bible.com/406/heb.10.24.erv