As I arrived at the apartments across the street, one of the boys who regularly joins me turned to two of his new friends and yelled, “You have to go with me! You have to come to church!” They turned to me, “Can they go, Pastor Glen? Can they?”
“Of course, but I need to meet their parents first.”
Quickly, they turned and ran to a woman holding a cell phone. She smiled and offered her hand to shake mine. “We have been looking for a church,” she said.
“We would love to have you visit ours,” I replied.
She then gave the cell phone to me so that I could speak with her mother, the grandmother of the children. Three generations in one visit. One more confirmation that outreach is about families.
Another boy pointed to some apartments in the distance. “They drink, and party and do drugs there,” he pointed out to me. An eight year-old child, aware of such things at his age. Made me want to weep. Especially since the gangs target his age for recruitment.
A 5th grade child ran to my pastors wife and hugged her. Invited her to his special event. She is the only one in his life who has shown care for him…. So young to carry such burdens.
A boy with dreams of being a dancer danced to our praise music during song time. I invited him up front to dance while we sang, and he did. A mixture of hiphop and break dancing. Only seven years old, so full of life and joy. Not yet jaded. Lord, please preserve his innocence.
My heart is full. Kids from all walks of life. Some of them I have known for years. Others I have just met last Wednesday. It brings me joy to reflect on my memories of interacting with them. It inspires me to dig deep into the heart of ministry, setting aside discouragement and remembering what is most important.