I was leading a Bible study in Oakwood 4 – a wing at the juvenile hall. There I met 17-year-old Mario who wanted to turn his life around and follow Jesus. Afterward he asked me if I had been to Oakwood 3.
He said, “There’s a kid there named Carlos, who just turned 14. He lives next door to me and is like my kid brother. We used to sit on the porch and have long talks. He’s never been in trouble. I’m worried about him over there with those tough guys in Oakwood 3.”
“Mario, you’ll be happy to know that a little while ago Carlos gave his life to Jesus. There may be some tough guys in Oakwood 3, but there are also some fine Christians there. When I left Carlos, there was an older Christian guy helping him look up Bible verses for his first Bible study lesson.”
Mario’s eyes filled with tears. “Thank you for telling me! I was so worried.”
I said, “Mario, you are older and I want you to be a good influence on Carlos. When you return home and sit on your porch again, things are going to be different. I want you to read your Bible together. I want you and Carlos to begin praying together. Pray that your families will come to know Jesus. Will you do that?”
Through tears, all Mario could say was, “Yes. Oh yes.”
I left Mario with some recommended churches with youth groups that he and Carlos could attend.
- But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3
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