”Life, too often, makes no sense, leaves us with nowhere to go, and speaks to us of our own worthlessness in the whole affair.”
Our visits to the Youth Detention Center the last two Sundays have been rewarding. Only once in ten years were we ever cancelled on arrival due to bad behavior on the inside necessitating a lock-down. On occasion, our “congregation” is a mixture wherein some, in one way or another, carry a visible negative attitude. For the last few months the female portion of those incarcerated have refused to attend. Three-fourths of these kids are always newly placed, the facility merely a holding site through which they pass for minor offences, only a handful looking at serious time, their future already determined by the courts; and therefore, with our schedule permitting just a bi-monthly opportunity to share, we must “re-introduce” ourselves with each encounter. To most of them we are but another group, another denominational dogma, and, from their perspective, perhaps no more than another Bible-thumping finger-in-their-face threatening them with hell and damnation if they don’t mend their ways. We go, then, asking Christ to go with us, knowing His presence makes the difference, believing He, alone, is the key to a “connection” wherein what we say and what we do speaks to their heart. Our individual testimonies yesterday somehow all intertwined, pointing to the words above and a resurrected Savior who makes good on that which He promises us, assurance in all that comes to us. The Spirit was in our midst throughout, faces displaying evidence that hearts were receiving the seed being sown. We finished, as always, with prayer; but, as the guards led them back to other units, the one woman with us was once again invited to join the girls for individual ministering and the rest of us received two young men who were allowed to come forward. One wanted to find forgiveness from his family; the other, a boy no more than sixteen or seventeen years old, sought hope that his infant child might likewise be able to give grace to its father for not being there.