“My parents are always fighting. How can I help? I don’t want them to get a divorce.”
Justin was carrying a burden that is incredibly heavy for any 13-year-old to carry. He was watching his family implode and didn’t know how to help. He came to www.JesusCares.com, not looking for spiritual answers but a friend who could offer advice.
Thankfully one of our online volunteers (Chris) was there to encourage and pray for his situation, but before the conversation ended, he transitioned to talk about Jesus. Justin had never been to church but had some questions he had always wanted to ask. After another 30 minutes of dialogue, he placed his trust in Jesus.
At that moment, his journey with Jesus began, but he was reluctant to connect with a church because he was convinced his dad wouldn’t let him go. Chris shared his email and then prayed before they ended the conversation, saying he was going to ask God to make a way so Justin could find a church and youth group.
A month later, Justin emailed Chris and said, “I told a friend on my lacrosse team that I was a Christian and he invited me to his youth group. I told him that I would ask my dad, but I didn’t think he would let me go. My dad said I could go. I am going to church for the first time on Wednesday.”
A month later he emailed again: “I have never seen my dad in church, and I have never seen him cry, but last Sunday I got baptized and my dad, mom, brother and sister all sat in the second row to support me. As soon as I came out of the water, my dad came up and gave me a hug. He was crying.”
A month later: “This Sunday, I sat in the second row as my dad, mom, brother and sister all got baptized. After church, we went out to eat and then went home. When we got home, my dad sat us down and said, “I know we have been fighting a lot, but we are dedicating this home to the Lord. We are going to do everything possible to make sure we honor Him here.”
Justin’s life and family were transformed by Jesus.
God is watching over them.
Sometimes in our arrogance we think we are the ones responsible for the spiritual growth of those we are ministering to, but I want to remind you, (like I need to remind myself) that is God’s job. And He is pretty good at it.
Our job is to plant and to water as faithfully, relentlessly, feverishly as we possibly can, knowing that God is the one who gives the increase. (I Cor. 3:6)
We might not be there to see the fruit (the moment someone trades their sins for God’s grace) or their growth, but we can trust that God uses our words, our service and our testimony to impact those we are near.
Who would have guessed that Justin’s advice-seeking would translate not only into one new brother in Christ, but an entire family turning to Jesus and committing to honor Him? Chris did not know how it would turn out, but He was faithful.
Who knows what God will do with your faithfulness and what legacy you will leave as you plant and water wherever God leads?
Sean Dunn is founder and president of Groundwire, a global ministry with the mission to lead every youth and young adult into a personal relationship with Jesus by leveraging current media channels to connect with them wherever they are. More than 116,000 made commitments to Christ through the organizations efforts in 2020. For more information, visit www.groundwire.net