A fellow mission director once said that a person doesn’t become homeless when he runs out of money. He becomes homeless when he runs out of relationships. After nearly 20 years of working in poverty relief ministry, I can attest that chronic poverty is rooted in broken relationship. It’s no wonder Marcell ended up where he did. He lacked the most important relationship every child needs. “My mother hated me,” he admitted. He remembers the day he realized the fullness of that tragedy; she left him to fend for himself on the streets of Kansas City when he was 13. What happened then?
“I started doing whatever I wanted. I sold a lot of drugs, robbed a lot of people, and spent a lot of money. It left me homeless, scared, and alone.”
Marcell, still hardened from life’s tragedy, ended up in one of our chapel services. He recalls it as a life changing moment.
“All of a sudden, I heard, ‘You are loved Marcell’ and I wanted to live for that voice. I felt the Lord telling me that He would send people to help me in my struggle. And He did. I met Jamie in court one day. She told me about this program called the Forge and I knew right away that was God. Now my goal is to answer the call of God whenever He calls and to do whatever it takes to do so!”
I’ve been thinking about 2 Corinthians 5:17 recently. Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. Old things have passed away. Behold! All things are new! Marcell was once a lonely, hardened criminal with a 4th grade education. Now he’s a GED student in the Service Phase of our Forge program working alongside our staff in the Worth-Shop. Stop by and see him. His broad smile and warm greeting will testify that for him, it’s true: All things are new.
- Keith – April 2017