In the Belly of a Whale

April 19, 2010 at 9:20 am Leave a comment

For several months Straight Ahead had planned on leading Ready4Life, a leadership development program, in Connecticut at the largest juvenile prison in New England. (This is the same program we ran last year with the Bloods and Crips in a prison near Boston). As we prepared for another amazing weekend it became abundantly clear that the enemy was also preparing. Early last week we learned of a prison riot that left one young inmate dead. As a result, the prison was unsure whether they wanted to risk the possibility of more violence during Ready4Life. We waited all week for a decision and the day before we were planning to start, they gave the green light.

In the beginning of the first day there were lots of guards on hand, as it is seldom that so many rival gang members gather at one time, in one place. I don’t have to tell you how surprised we were that before the end of the first day there were no guards left! In spite of this, at no point during the weekend was there ever any threat of violence.

Jonathan was one of the participants and shared a little of his story. He told us that he believes God was calling him to be a minister and like the prophet Jonah, he ran from it. “Now I am in the belly of the whale, but just like Jonah, this is where God is meeting me. I’ve been praying for Him to use me here and to help me prepare for what He has when I return. This weekend was a big answer to my prayers.”

Thank you to those who were praying on our behalf. Forty-two young men attended the 3-day event and God moved in powerful ways. Please pray for the 8-week follow-up that will launch this week, and for God to work in each life as these young men strive to follow up on the commitments each of them made.

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