You Reached John

Posted on by Laura Green

by Mike Green

“Misfit. Freak.” Those are just a few of the words that John’s classmates used to describe him. Other labels were even more hurtful and they repeatedly hammered him with them. Everyday at school John was battered by his fellow students. Everyday he escaped home only to face the insults again the very next day.

The first time I met John, he was awkward. He faced social and physical challenges. Those challenges made making friends a near impossibility.  And no one was willing to make the effort to connect with him. Students feared being ridiculed themselves and that fear built an invisible barrier around John. John believed nothing could ever change.

But then something did change. John walked through the doors of a Campus Life club at his school. There a Campus Life volunteer did something amazing. He asked John his name. John said “I can’t remember when someone last asked me my name. It made a difference.” That simple act of friendship drew John back to Campus Life week after week and towards the volunteer who asked him a simple question. In future weeks the volunteer asked John how his week was and what was going on at home. Those words were like medicine on John’s emotional wounds. John began to look forward to school one day a week, the day that Campus Life met.

Then another big change happened.  Students began to see the “cool” Campus Life volunteer talk with John. They began to see John as a person and from the conversations they overheard they realized that John was much more like them than they knew. “I now feel terrible for how we treated him” said one student. “We all got caught up in what everyone else around us was doing. We never gave John a chance.” That change of perspective has led to John being accepted by many of the kids at his school. John now has friends!

John has not only made friends at Campus Life but has also heard the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. And through the love and acceptance he found in our ministry he was drawn to Jesus. This past year John placed his trust in Jesus. A year ago John believed nothing could ever change in his life. Now everything has changed.

You reached John. You were there when he needed a friend. You gave him hope and you shared Jesus through your prayers and gifts. You changed a life. “Thank you” does not convey what your ministry has meant to John.

There are many more young people just like John who can be reached. Many more kids you can bring friendship, love and hope to in our community. I want to invite you to make a difference in one or more students this Christmas. Through the YFC Each One Reach One campaign we will reach more students who need love and encouragement. Will you reach one, two or more students this Christmas? Your gifts will reach a student at one of our eight schools that Campus Life ministers to regularly and bring hope to a young mom through one of our four Teen Moms ministries. For one student at one of these ministries you will make the difference.

Something as simple as asking a kid his name can start the change desperately needed in their life. Thank you for being there for our kids.

PS – Please consider reaching one more young person like John this Christmas. Your gift will give a kid a reason to celebrate this holiday season. Remember you can give online at www.tuscaloosayfc.comthrough December 31stfor this tax year. Also our offices will be open until 4:00 on the 31stto drop off any gift. Merry Christmas.

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