I would like to introduce you to Jose. Jose is a 5th grader that I met while doing outreach at the Dream Club in the City of Albany. Although he is one of the smaller kids that comes, you will always find him battling for time on the basketball court. He might be small, but he has a killer 3-point shot.
This past winter we had a great opportunity to bring youth to our Middle School retreat. When I sat Jose down to talk to him about the retreat and invite him to attend, his face lit up. “No one ever asks me to do anything special” was his response. He left the center with the permission slip, a smile and as he walked out the door he turned around and said, “thanks for picking me”.
While at the Middle School retreat every time, we had an opportunity to talk all he kept saying was “Thank you Ms. Amanda for picking me”. On the way home from the retreat, I spoke with the two young men that came for Albany City Life about what they learned and are took away from that event. Jose responded with “I learned that I can talk to Jesus whenever, that it doesn’t have to be a special time or place and I don’t have to use big words, I can just talk to him”.
After dropping him off, I sat in reflection of what Jose and the other young man said and thought, wow how special are we, God picked us, he chose to send his son for us and although he is the King of Kings, we have a direct line to talk to him, it doesn’t have to be fancy, and like Jose said, “we can be anywhere at anytime and don’t need to use big words” to talk to him. I love how God uses kids like Jose to remind us of these very simple things God has given us.
A few weeks after the retreat I was speaking to Jose to follow up, and he asked me how another kid was doing; a kid he met at the middle school retreat, from a different City Life program. I asked him why he was asking. Apparently, the other young man had told him that he was sick and was seeing different doctors. Jose was asking because he said the other day he felt like he should pray for this other student, so while he was waiting to play basketball he quietly asked God to heal his new friend. I ask that you please pray for Jose as he is discovering prayer, that he will see the importance of prayer and continue to seek God and ask questions.
*Names have been changed