In November of 2016, I was graced with one of the most fruitful and rewarding volunteer opportunities I had ever encountered thus far. One of the personal injury clients on my caseload happened to be one of the program coordinators at Camp David Gonzalez, a juvenile detention camp for the Los Angeles Probation Department. As the paralegal on her case, conversations regarding out mutual passions to be of service to the less fortunate would come up from time to time. What a blessed gift it was for me when she asked me if I would like to participate and spend a couple hours leading a group at the juvenile camp where selected volunteers from the outside come in to share encouragement and spur faith in these boys whom are serving time in juvenile detention for crimes such as theft, robbery, drugs, and so forth. Having been one who had grown up in the streets, acquainted with the lifestyle of drugs, gangs and crime, there was no doubt in my heart that it was what I needed to participate in.
Those two hours of identifying with them, exchanging understanding, giving counsel, urging to betterment, pleading for them to recognize how much all the hurt and rejection they have been fighting with the wrong kind of energy has done nothing more than hinder and hurt them (as well as many others) was truly the most amazing ministry encounter I have ever had in the two years I had been born again. To have the attention of this classroom of young men, some with such a vivid expression of hope on their faces, some even struggling with tears, while giving them the reassurance that they were created for better, that a life turned toward the right direction (repentance) could take all their brokenness and make them heroes for so many other people (when they are so accustomed to being called failures), was absolutely the most beautiful encounter I have ever had of pouring out in the SPIRIT to fill those whom were hungry and thirsty and desperately in need of hope.
I could see the heartache in every single young man, the hurt of abuse, abandonment, rejection from parents, lack of love in their own lives... that these were yet still merely children feeding a brokenness so deeply rooted in their hearts. Just as the LORD had warned Cain that his countenance had fallen and sin was crouching at his door, I was able to remember even in my own previous state of brokenness how we give permission to use us for all the wrong reasons when we reside there... and that broken people are simply tired, lost and helplessly seeking comfort because they have no idea what GOD in Heaven has in store for those who seek HIM and LOVE HIM- that they too needed to find rest for their souls.
Please, pray for the youth in our juvenile prison system, that there be many sent to shine as beacons of light in their state of darkness. That many are able to reach into the prison systems and the deepest of pits where there are the hopeless, the abandoned, the forsaken- so that we may reach into these dark and dreary places to bring healing and to help lead the lost HOME.
MATTHEW 9: 35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
36But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. 37Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.