This was a little different type of group session at the Juvenile Detention Center . Five of the young men that were coming to group were transferred to another state facilities, which happens a lot. This is one of the reasons the Lord and a group of us are starting up the Hope in the Darkness Project ( http://www.hopeinthedarknessproject.org/ ) so we can cover the many facilities that are around and continue the work that is begun at the first contact. Because of these transfers and 2 or 3 in internal court, only three were in group. When this happens I know the Lord has some special needs to take care of.
One of the three regulars who was there spoke of the hard times of his grandparents. How they were both badly injured in a couple of different accidents around the house and property. While discussing how he was going to spend his time helping them with their house and property he dropped a bomb shell. He said he has spent time reading all the material I had given him. He was also praying on it that he wanted to get into organized religion. I thought this was great, I knew his dad was Methodist. What shocked me was this young man who was pure country in an evangelical mountain hollows of West Virginia said he wanted to join the Catholic Faith. He explained he had thought about it and with his young sister had then looked into it. He said when he started coming to group he knew that that is where the Lord wanted him. He had almost memorized everything except the bible I had given him. I had already explained in group that it was a several month process. He then asked me he if I could help do this when he got out and be his sponsor. I said "Yes, I could teach him but we would have to wait to you get out and I would need to talk with your parents". He said his dad knows and is ok with it, Praise the Lord!
During this group we spoke a lot about Scripture and its history. About how satan can attack anyone it doesn't matter what Holy position they hold if they are not living a holy life. Also the difference between a “Holy Rollers Life” and someone doing the best to follow God's law. We studied some of the Scripture readings about that type of situation and the end results. We ended with a circle prayer and I shook each ones hands while hugging them as they left and said “I will pray for you please pray for me” and most say they will.
Wow this was a good group session on Thursday. The Juvenile Detention center was about half full (12 residents). We had 8 attending group and 3 were in lock down and 1 sick. We also had 5 new young men. 4 were in because of grand larceny, assault with a Deadly weapon and weapons charges along with drug charges. I know this because I tell the new ones about me and then ask them why they wanted to vacation here. I also dig further back to the first time they broke the law. The Holy Spirit just moves through them with some prompting from me to do this. This also is how God works miraculously.
On Wednesday a young man In the northern part of West Virginia held 20 people hostage by gun point at a high school threaten to kill them while putting the gun which was loaded to each one’s head. It was about a 7 hour standoff before he gave up with no one physically hurt. The Holy Spirit said to me when I saw this on ABC he was in my future.
He was the other new young man in the group. After he took me through his day describing his thoughts and what he was doing and his actions I got to minister to him for about 40 minutes. In a nut shell he was feeling a lot of pressure with his studies and being bullied, which was most of it. He finely snapped and wanted to put fear in the one’s doing the bullying. That’s why he went to the school with the gun. The main person wasn’t at school that day when he burst into the classroom with the gun, but some of the others were. It escalated from there and he took the class room and three adult hostage.
We talked about the Lord and about maybe talking to someone like a youth pastor about the bullying and other ways to avoid what happened. He asked me for one my books and card and I made him promise to contact me in the future before this happens again. Again this is what the Hope in the Darkness Project is ( http://www.hopeinthedarknessproject.org/ ) . As I do with all the young men I prayed and wrote in it whatever the Holy Spirit was telling me and signed it. I am sure this relationship will continue.
We continued discussing about my adventures and how they affected my salvation and why I am doing this now. Then my favorite subject Heaven and Hell, how even if they weren’t real I wasn’t taken that kind of gamble on eternity. We ended with a circle prayer and I shook each ones hand and while hugging them as they left and said “I will pray for you please pray for me” and most say they will.