amazing. that one word describes it. one of the team members who has been on some 28 teams said they hadn’t seen the kind of engagement with a group of juveniles like we experienced today. the gates of hell were literally stormed and it was with amazing energy. i am at the family table of faithfulness with another great hearted couple and five amazing young men…kind kevin, jammin josh, nice nic, righteous rod and active alexander. those were the adjectives they used to describe themselves in our opening ice breaker. the energy was apparent from the time they all arrived in the conference room at 8:30am.
there were several milestones worth sharing from today. one was the unveiling of the idea of agape to this young men. during the third talk of the day entitled “you are not alone” the speaker shares their story of how God has shown up in their story and how ultimately it is through the means of other folks…doing life together…in one particular way…via a prayer vigil (you can still sign up here). to nail the point the team reveals a paper chain that is made up of those that have agreed to be in prayer for these boys and the team. the chain had 1,688 links and it circles the conference room 1.5 times. the boys just sat amazed at the sight. its a humbling sight for those on team…but very encouraging.
the second was during the second worship session just prior to dinner. the music was off the chart. it has been great all day. our music leader jeremy shared a song from hillsong united…second chance… the lyrics are powerful. So it’s with everything I am
I reach out for Your hand
The hope for change
The second chance I’ve gained
On You I throw my life
Casting all my fears aside
How could greater love than this
Ever possibly exist
Consume my thoughts
As I rest in You
I’m now in love
With a Saviour
Bearing the marks of His love
and put in the context of young men who are incarcerated the idea of “a second chance” yells volumes. so the reality of 20 of the 25 young men stepping out to mark this day as their day of restoration isn’t really surprising. all five of our boys at the table and my weekend star, tayrone were part of that 20. to lead them through the prayer of salvation and then to pray over them as a table was humbling too…and the time of celebration that followed was well…all i can say is my lip sync of tye tribbett was a good practice run because one of my co-assistant spiritual directors is african-american …he played the keyboard and led us to a place that i’ve not been in a while. our boys were stoked…and i know God was pleased with the sweet sound that filled that correctional facility.
i guess when i saw the sunrise this morning i should have known something was afoot. the beauty of those colors rocked my drive all the way to the facility. so tomorrow is day two. we’ve had to step to another level because the Spirit moved them a day early…imagine. keeping praying!