Gruppo Latino American Cristiano Youth
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Many of the very mature believers in the church at Parma are young people under the age of twenty or so. Let me say that, I doubt if I met anywhere fifteen year olds like these, who stand and declare their allegiance to Jesus Christ without hesitation or the slightest fear of rejection.
It is their idea to reach their parents and other family members with the gospel so they held, what might be called a “Thank You” dinner to tell their parents what they have meant to them. They cooked the supper by themselves and set all of the tables, prepared music, a video, a drama and individual testimonies of about five, some of whom have only been Christians for a short time. I was invited to be their “clean-up batter” but after the testimonies that had everyone in tears and Kleenex being passed from table to table, I felt a little like extra baggage and rather unnecessary at making the point that, “God is good.”
J and A, like the real troopers they are, jumped right in making friends with Fatima an English speaker mentioned before in one of the earlier blogs. I overheard J going at it, explaining to Fatima what we must and must not believe discussing various doctrines. Fatima, a young Christian, has been meeting with the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the attempt to convert them but has become confused so J was giving her website information that would help her defend the Gospel. A was busy visiting, smiling and recording the event with her camera. I’m sure she has much better and more informative photographs but I have a blog (nah, nah, ne, nah, nah) and she doesn’t.
After folks had gotten hold of themselves enough for me to speak I decided to do my best no matter that hearts had already been warmed by the testimonies. For this purpose I chose to tell the story of our adopted son Sky and explained the difference between justice, mercy and grace. The story is powerful and when mixed with Matthew 18:21-35 (“The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant”) many were moved to tears once more.
We ended the evening with families huddled, hugging and crying. I have some, dear young friends who have no fathers or no supportive fathers so I went from table to table where young people stood by themselves. I embraced them, praying for them and telling each one what they have and do mean to me. This left both me and them in tears. I will provide a few pictures of these powerful and committed young people.