This is a post from YFC Ministry Director Beth Fontana:
1 Corinthians 5:14-15 says, "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and who was raised again."
So often I wonder how it is that I have the privilege of coming alongside high-risk teens. I never struggled with the law growing up. I didn't come from an abusive past. I felt validated and loved by my parents and encouraged to be all God has created me to be.
I don't have a clue of what it is like to live the lives these precious teens live every day. I cannot relate to living in survival mode. They can't think past today. These children do not have the capacity to wait on things. It is very hard to control their impulses, especially with anger. It shows up in their relationships.
Why is my heart tender for them? Because God's heart is tender towards them. I want them to know that there is more to life than what they are experiencing. I want to give them an opportunity to receive the love and acceptance from a caring adult, which makes way for the gospel. My passion is that every high-risk young person will know they are loved and then hear about the One who loves them the most.
Christ loves compels me. I am one who is broken reaching out to another who is also broken. Together, we will learn to no longer live for ourselves, but for the One who gives us new life.
I recently received a letter from a young lady that I have been corresponding with at the Department of Corrections for juveniles. This young woman was the first girl I met with at the JDC. She has been in and out of the JDC several times and this is her second stint at DOC. Below is a small part of what she shared with me.
“It made my day getting a letter from you. If you have enough time are you able to come and see me? It would mean a lot to me if you are able to visit. I really appreciate you thinking of me. It feels nice to know that when I am out of sight, I’m still on your mind. Sometimes I have really rough days. So now when I’m having really rough days, I’m gonna read your card of encouragement. I have been going to church services and I like going. It’s really changing my train of thought. It gives me a lot of knowledge and wisdom.”
Christ’s love compels!