December 1, 2008
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9).
Eight years ago I (Andrew) moved to St. Louis to do ministry with World Impact. One of the first people I met when I came to St. Louis was a teenager named James who attended a youth group run by World Impact. I was instantly drawn to James because I could see that this young man carried a heavy load of hurt and pain. I was soon informed by someone on staff that James had lost his mother to illness. He was the eldest of two boys, did not have a father figure in his life, and he lived with his grandmother. After I heard about his home life, my heart instantly broke for James.
I tried to build a relationship with James, but he was a very closed-off young man. After many difficult attempts to talk to him, he finally said a few words. Over time he began to open up to me, and we started to develop a more open relationship. James consistently attended youth group, and when he got into high school, he started to volunteer during the summer in our kids’ program. James went on to graduate from high school, and I have been meeting with him over the last couple of years in a mentoring relationship. Adria and I have had him over to our house, and he even has come to view Adria as an older sister from whom he can ask advice.
Even though he was involved with church and open to talking with me, James struggled with accepting Christ as the answer to so many of the questions in his life. He has struggled with relationships with girls and with finding a steady job. He has tried alcohol and drugs to find an answer to his problems. He struggles with depression, and recently he drank a six-pack of beer and a gallon of vodka. James passed out and woke up in the emergency room as he went in and out of consciousness. He was experiencing alcohol poisoning, and the doctor said that if he would have consumed any more alcohol, he would have died.
Shortly after that, I asked James when we could get together to talk. The next day he walked into my office and said he was ready. I asked him just exactly what he was ready for, and he said that he was tired of doing things his way and was ready to accept Christ into his life. At first I was a little skeptical given his history, but after a few more questions to make sure he was ready, James prayed and asked Christ into his heart.
I will admit that at times I have lost heart and wondered if James would ever see his need for a Savior. I have met with him for years, but he had not made the choice to follow Christ until now. I am thankful for Galatians 6:9 and how God shows this verse to be very true in our lives. Thank you for praying for Adria and me as we continue to look for the James’s here in St. Louis.
We hope that you have a very merry Christmas. It is a joy for us to celebrate the birth of Christ this year knowing that there is one more person who now knows life in our Savior.
All for our Risen Savior,
Andrew & Adria Medlen