Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Glimmer of Hope (Jason)

I once heard an ex-mobster turned Christian claim the he broke down sobbing after shooting a man in the knee. He cried not from a sense of remorse but rather from amazement that he had not shoot the man in the chest. He said that at the moment that he shot the man he realized that God had done an amazing transformation in his life. "Six months before," he noted, “I would have killed that man.” Even though we do not work with murderers, we can appreciate this story given the profile of the kid with whom we we work.

Take, for example, Diego - the hard case from our Tuesday and Wednesday morning class (a classmate of Tangerina). Diego is a fantastic soccer player who has little else going for him. He grew up fatherless, for his father died due to his involvement in drug trafficking. In class, he plays the role of the tough, disinterested guy. But, Diego’s hard exterior is a compensation for his low self-esteem. He, like a cactus, does a good job of keeping people at a distance. His method of self-defense is to tear others down in order to bring himself up. He mocks the way we speak Portuguese. He hacks one kid because he struggles as a goalie. He rails another for having the appearance of a goat. Due to his behavior, we considered yanking him from the group. However, after prayer and much debate, we decided to press on due to a small glimmer of progress. We see traces of submission, moments of understanding. The hard exterior is starting to crack. We believe that God is at work in his life, moving him toward the gospel.

As for our role in his life, we try to be like Epaphroditus (see Phillipians) - messengers delivering a precious gift. Join with us as we hope and pray for Diego, knowing that it is only the love of Christ that might bring down the walls that Diego sets up.

No comments: