Why do we go visit incarcerated youth? Why do we even care?

This past week at Palmetto Youth Academy, where boys are sentenced from nine to eighteen months, we focused on the message of hope that is found in the Easter story. As we shared, one young man said he didn’t understand. As we tried to share with him, we realized that he didn’t speak English very well.  So one of his friends offered to translate.  As we shared the powerful story of how our shortcomings, sins, and crimes are forgiven by a loving God, he began to well up with tears in his eyes.

The Gospel was received. New life began that night.

What in many ways was even more touching to me was that the friend who invited him to church, the one who translated the message and invitation, was on the other side of forgiveness just a month or so ago. He was now sharing a faith that he believed in a language that his friend needed to hear.  It was a beautiful sight to see a youth who only recently gave his heart to Jesus, turn around and become instrumental in leading his friend to Christ.

The Gospel was preached. New life has begun!

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old life is gone; new life has begun. 2 Cor 5:17

”The most critical need of the church at this moment is men, bold men, free men. The church must seek, in prayer and much humility, the coming again of men made of the stuff of which prophets and martyrs are made.” – AW Tozer