This past Monday, there was tragic news of a High School shooting in Chardon, Ohio. A seventeen year boy, TJ Lane, was arrested and will most likely be charged with the killing of three students at Chardon High School. It was said that he grew up in an abusive and broken home and that there were signs of his violent actions before. Unfortunately, he took things to extremes before anyone did anything. News like this always hits a bit home for me. It's not because I have been in that type of situation before, but it's because this is a big reason why I decided to go into ministry.
In April of 1999, there was the Columbine High School shootings where two high-school seniors went on a shooting spree killing 12 students and a teacher, injuring 21 other students, before they committed suicide. I was a Sophomore in college at that time and I remember it hitting me that teens were in such need of guidance in their lives. The world that we live in today is so corrupt and there are so many things pulling at their lives influencing them. A year later, my dad started serving as a pastor at a church called EFC Irvine. At that time, the current youth leader was just about to step down and so they were looking for someone to work with their youth group. My dad asked my sister and I to help out over the summer and we agreed.
As I served with my sister as the Youth Counselors for EFC Irvine, I received my calling to go into full-time ministry. There was so much joy in working with these teens and trying, to the best of my ability, to help them live a life that has purpose and one that lives according to what God desires for us. That, coupled with the recent shooting, made me see just how important it is for teens to have a place where they can learn solid biblical truths. So after I graduated from college, I decided to go to Talbot School of Theology to get a Mdiv Degree.
It's been more than 10 years now since I first started working with youths and it's neat to see the many lives that have been changed. It's even more of a blessing to see many who are still passionate for God today and still growing and serving Him in whatever capacity they can. I know that it wasn't all me, far from it, but I'm glad that I was able to invest my life in theirs and see God use me.
I really pray that our youth group, Everglow, would be a place where many lives are changed. I pray that we would be a community of believers who are really committed to one another and desiring to see and help one another grow in our faith. I pray that we would be a fellowship who brings God's message of love and grace and truth into the world.
So join me, and partner with us, to be a light to this dark world!