In my update post a little over a year ago I mentioned that Christian was doing much better. The turning point came when he went to a Young Life Camp in New York for a week in 2010. After that week away he came home and started attending YL Club and Campaigners (bible study) weekly. He still struggled with questions that are hard for even adults to answer- like “if there is a loving God how could He let horrible things happen to innocent children.” Our local Young Life leader, Russ was amazing in that he met with Christian once a week to just talk and try to answer some of these difficult questions. This went on for months and even when Christian said “I think you might be wasting your time with me” Russ didn’t give up. He continued to meet with him weekly. I will forever be grateful for Russ’s commitment and determination in helping Christian understand the redemption we have in Christ.
After the Young Life Fall Weekend in December 2010, Christian made the decision to accept Christ as his personal savior. I can’t even put into words how I felt hearing this the first time and then seeing the changes in him over the past year. He had finally found hope and healing through Christ. This all took place during Christian’s senior year of high school. He graduated on time despite having missed much of his junior year. After graduation he left for a month to volunteer as work crew at a Young Life camp in New York. This was the longest he had ever been away from home and from what I hear work crew can be hard work. I was a little worried that he wouldn’t make it a month, especially after hearing he was assigned to kitchen crew. I couldn’t picture him getting himself out of bed to cook for 500 people every day all day. The first phone call I got from him didn’t make me feel any better. He was exhausted and didn’t sound like he was having much fun- granted it had only been 2 days. The next time I heard from him was a voicemail message a few days later and it said “mom, I just wanted you to know that I am LOVING IT here. “ I still have that message saved on my phone today.
He seemed so happy for the first time since his world turned upside down surrounding the reunion. As a Work Crew volunteer he was required to share his testimony with some of the campers. This was another turning point for Christian. I think it was really the first time he got to share his story in his own words without the media but more importantly he shared it with a new perspective as a born again Christian. He told me how sharing his story and the reaction he got from others made him finally feel proud of his past.
I am now able to share more of the aftermath of the reunion now that Christian is able to do the same. He is 19 years old and attending a local community college, while also working a part time job and being a volunteer leader with Young Life. I have more news to share about him later in another post. You will also see a post from Christian himself, where he shares his story in his own words. And finally I will post an update on our family in China and how that is going.
They cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He makes the storm calm, so that the waves are still. –Psalm 107:28-29