I didn’t sleep good last night.
I’m bothered by a recent turn of events at EMS. To be honest, I’m hesitant to share this story because some people think this is what always happens at EMS. The truth is, we’ve had quite a few years with very little kid tension.
That changed three weeks ago. Two kids in particular have been in each others face for the last few weeks. The beginning of the issue is long forgotten by the kids involved, but every time they see each other, they pick up where they left off.
Last night we cancelled EMS due to the weather, mostly for the sake of the volunteers who need to drive in, and I hoped that a byproduct would be a week off for those boys, and their friends, to cool down.
My family went to our pastor house for dinner, which is right across the parking lot from the church. I watched as one of the boys, and his friends, played in the snow banks making a fort. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the other boy, and his friends showed up. From the kitchen window I saw two of the boys run up on the snow fort kids and I knew it was about to get serious. I put on my shoes and ran out the door. By then they had retreated to their own groups and I asked them to leave. They ran away, perhaps out of fear I would talk to their parents, they were right.
Today I will be visiting their parents to try to figure out how to help these kids reconcile. I love all the kids involved in this weirdness, and it truly breaks my heart to see them acting with hatred toward one another. They don’t want to let the issue go and there are a number of reasons for it.
- Reconciling is soft and it makes you a pushover on the street.
- Some parents tell their kids to not take crap, to swing first and swing hard.
- The always cliche but ever present peer pressure.
The ministries of NCN exist to be places of safety where children can encounter Jesus. A place where kids can find help, encouragement, and friendship. Right now, because of these two groups of kids, we are struggling.
Today I want to ask you to pray for the children. Pray that they can see past their petty issues and see the way of Jesus. They all claim to love Jesus, pray that they would understand that also means loving each other. Pray for my meetings with parents today. Pray that we could have good conversations and work together to help their children reconcile. Pray for wisdom for me and the leaders and we desperately work to love these children and help them experience the fullness of who Jesus is.
Pray for encouragement. I’m tired today, and honestly broken hearted over these kids whom I love. I am angry at the sin and hatred that is at work in my community, and I am fearful for the future of these children if they don’t soon experience heart transformation through Jesus.
Jesus is the great reconciler and I know he can transform even the hardest heart. I’ve seen him do it, and I’m looking forward to him doing it again.