Accepting Christ and walking with him is no easy task. Taking up new identity in Jesus, making sacrifices and going against the grain comes with a handful of challenges, especially for teenagers. There are so many influences in their lives and so much pressure to fit into society to be accepted. We sadly see kids live their lives for the sake of others and not walk in who they’re called to be. Society is taught that GOD and/or any type of belief in him is “whack” or just uncool. Unlike the majority, there are teens who believe and would disagree with this belief about GOD, Isaiah is one of them.
Isaiah has been in church for most of his life, moving from Albany to Schenectady raised questions to where he would attend church. His friend Alex introduced Isaiah to our City Life program in 6th grade. City Life is where I met this creative, athletic, humorous child. As our program carried on throughout the years, I noticed a reoccurring theme with Isaiah, every Saturday night I would receive a Facebook message from him saying “I’m going to church in the morning I need a ride.” This has amazed me! Typically when kids come to church it’s often initiated by us leaders, and if they continue to come it’s on an inconsistent basis. Not for Isaiah though, he has consistently pursued me to pick him up for church for almost 5 years now! Rarely ever missing a Sunday. Although he is faithful in attending church, Isaiah would be the first one to tell you how difficult it is being in high school with all of these pressures and temptations. Despite the challenges, he still continues to go against the grain and seek being a part of the body of Christ.
His life and walk has been a blessing to many within our church community and our City Life team. The day I was able to lead him and his two other friends to faith I said to myself “I know these kids will do great things.” I felt as if GOD affirmed what I said because, later that night at a City Life event, Isaiah and the two other boys, filled with the holy spirit, gave testimony to their friends about their surrender. Their testimony went on to inspire 8 other boys to give their lives to Jesus!
*Names have been changed