I want to share a story with you today, a story of hope, a story of a kid who has found some hope, a story of a kid who makes little changes (almost) everyday to change his life, a kid who has found his place at my kitchen table playing Apples to Apples, helping me make dinner, taking naps on my living room floor and getting up early ALMOST every Sunday to come to church. He’s searching and seeking for the hope that can only be found in Jesus and everyday I thank God that even when he walked passed me and didn’t acknowledge that I was speaking to him, even when he shot me dirty looks when I tried to invite him to church, when I tried to ask him about life, school etc and he thought I was just some crazy white church lady, that I didn’t give up on him I kept pursuing him, I kept loving him through the junk, I kept reminding him that he had a place here when he was ready.
It took some situations in his life to make him realize that there was a safe place for him, a place where he could find love, and place where he could find hope…. as I type these words, I realized that my pursuit of Antuane was a lot like Jesus’ pursuit of us, even when we run he still doesn’t give up on us, even when we snub Him He doesn’t give up on us, even when we try to handle business on our own He DOESN’T give up… it was such a good reminder that we should not give up on the people that God continues to place in our paths, we should continue to love them, continue to pray for them, continue to pour out the hope that we have been given, because we never know when that hope and that invitation will be acknowleged.
I hope as you watch Antuane’s story you’ll be reminded of why GEM program exists in East Baltimore, why God has called us here to help kids find hope, find hope in the Gospel, find hope in their education and in life. Antuane is just one of many kids that is searching for and finding their hope. I hope you’ll watch it again and again, I hope you’ll share it with friends, but more importantly I hope you’ll join me in prayer for Antuane and all of the other GEM kids, that they will continue to seek and find their hope in Him, that they will continue to come to GEM and hear the gospel each week, that they will continue to find their safe place here and that Jesus’ light will shine bright through these kids.