Part of mine and Hunter's passion in life is teenagers. Call us strange, call us weird. But hey, you were weird once too.
We absolutely love conversing with teenagers, spending time with them, ministering to them... It's just an awe inspiring experience when you can help impact the life of an awkward teenager. A lot of our ministry, and those we're trying to reach in Quincy, are and will be teenagers. We figure if we can start young, hopefully this will help change the community as a whole.
I mean, think about it. If you can catch these teenagers before they become adults, you can help influence their behaviors, their attitudes, and their general outlook on life. Granted, we're against some major forces like peer pressure and "nothing to do in a small town" attitude, so we know we've got to work hard.
Hunter and I have had parents approach us asking, "What can I do to ensure that my son/daughter doesn't get into that kind of trouble?" Our answer?
See, here's the thing parents, you know absolutely nothing. Seriously. Your teenager thinks that your mind is warped and you're so old school that you couldn't possibly understand what they're going through. Trust me, I was there once. Hunter and I fully believe that the only thing that can keep your son/daughter out of trouble are the people they associate themselves with. Granted, we're no experts because we don't have our own teenagers, but when you've spent many hours just sitting and talking to these teenagers because nobody else will, you tend to learn a few things.
For example, Hunter grew up in church. His father was in law enforcement. Hunter did all the "right" things up until he was about 15 years old. Once he turned 15, he started hanging out with a different crowd and he kissed the whole church routine goodbye. In his little 15 year old mind, being part of the partying group was just so cool. And he didn't have a single person to hold him accountable to his faith.
Yes parents, your teenagers are exposed to drinking and drugs at a very young age. Get your head out of the sand.
Where was I going with all of this? Oh yes, teenagers. Hunter has been praying relentlessly for God to open the doors (heck even windows) to opportunities at the local high schools in Quincy. We're trying to find ways to tap into the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) programs, form a community youth group for all high schoolers, pray with the sports teams, anything.
Remember those God moments we talked about?
Hunter had a God moment. This Thursday, he has been asked to come and guest speak at the local private school, his alma mater. He is beyond thrilled about this and is even more thrilled because he has been asked to be a continual presence in this group. God is so good! I know that Hunter will be a great example and friend to these kids.