The young men had troubled backgrounds in common. Each had been under pressure by friends and even family to drink alcohol, do drugs and/or deal drugs at a very young age. As a result, they were on a clear path to trouble and delinquency. Fortunately, their stories do not have to end tragically thanks to compassion shown by Christian ministries.
Youth-Reach Houston is a Christian ministry that gives troubled young men, 12-17, an opportunity to step into a program that provides structure and family values. With a focus on developing character, responsibility and strong work ethic, past wounds can experience healing and the purpose for family can be restored.
Be Compassionate: “But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’” – Luke 10:33-35. The priest and the Levite had already passed by the man that had been stripped and beaten by robbers. Maybe they were consumed by a capital campaign for their temple or just busy with other temple work. But the Samaritan felt compassion for the man and was sensitive to what God wanted to do through him at that moment. Through this parable, Christ is calling the Church to be the Church. He was not referring to a building or an institution. He was talking to you and I to be more like the Samaritan. There are young men and older men inside the church walls or just beyond that are beaten up and bloodied by life. As men of God we can reach out to lend an ear, offer a hand and open a heart to relationships that glorify God.
Last summer about 40 men and young men participated in the High Country Adventure, a week long camping experience in the Santa Fe National Forest. There were a number of young men without a dad in their lives participating, including four young men from Youth-Reach Houston. Men in the group lent an ear, offered a hand and opened their hearts to the young men across the week. As the men showed compassion, the young men experienced the love of the Father. One young man put it this way, “The Lord did not just put something on my heart across this week, He put brothers into my life and let me be open to them.” If you are interested in learning more about this trip, click on High Country Adventure or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Know that you can also be compassionate simply by reaching out to a younger or an older man in your church. Schedule a breakfast or lunch together then open your ears and heart to him.
Prayer guide: Lord, it is easier to do church than be the Church. In the busy-ness of life we can walk right by an opportunity to extend our relationship with You to others, be they in our immediate family, circles of influence or in the community. Forgive me for walking by mission work You have put in front of me. Help me to be compassionate when family members, friends or others have been beaten up by life. Equip me to be Your Church where You have me. Amen.
A faithful father is compassionate and extends his relationship with Christ to others every day.