High school, for the most part, is synonymous with fun. It is a time for exploration and experimentation. But sometimes, too much of both can lead young minds astray. What to them is fun time with friends can become dangerous habits if left unchecked.
Such was the case of John-John and his friends. They were all too familiar with the school’s guidance office. Not because it was their usual hangout – no, they frequented the place because their “activities” were disturbing. Smoking. Drinking. Drugs. Fights. They were warned several times. They also repeated the offense several times.
The school had given up on them, so it employed the help of a group who started Project H.O.P.E. Short for Helping Others Pursue Excellence, Project H.O.P.E. was a program of Inter-Varsity in Agusan Del Sur. Glenda, one of the field staff, held Bible studies with John-John and other highschoolers. John-John attended because it was required. The lessons did not really mean that much to him.
Before the school year ended, it was announced that there would be a summer camp. He didn’t have high hopes of being selected because of their number and because of his “record.” So he was a bit surprised and thrilled when he and three of his pals were chosen for the Sibol Camp. But naughty students that they were, they went for a smoke during break time. And were caught. They feared they would be sent home. And that was what the staff had in mind, wondering if they were the wrong students sent to the camp. But Glenda reminded her team that John-John was the very kind of student that the evangelistic camp was for.
Promising not to smoke again, John-John and his pals stayed. It wasn’t until two days before the end of the camp that God met John-John. Through a skit reenacting Jesus’ sacrifice, John-John saw himself as a sinner in need of a Savior. Tears fell unbidden because of this realization. At that moment, he confessed his sins before Jesus and received him as his Savior and Lord.
Slowly, John-John saw the changes in his life. He gave up his lifestyle and “explored” and “experimented” in other things, the “other things” being the Bible and the spiritual disciplines he learned from the camp, and his relationship with Christ. Others saw his changes, too. His parents, the school, and their community noticed the transformation of John-John and his friends. But it is not to say that he suddenly became sinless. Far from it. He sinned – and sinned big-time. He was convicted and went back to the cross and found forgiveness and grace. At present, his exploration and experiment with his new-found faith continue. With the guidance of their staff Glenda, and even at the mercy of intermittent signal and lack of cellphone load, John-John and his friends continue with their Jesus-journey.
- Pray for John-John and his friends to continue in their walk with Jesus. Pray that they will continue to attend their online Bible studies. Pray for the continuing work among highschoolers in the different areas of the country.
- Pray for the upcoming online camps for highschoolers both on the regional and national scale. Pray for provision and preparations.
- Pray for the restart of the Nurses’ Christian Fellowship among nursing students in the country. Pray, too, for the Teachers’ Christian Fellowship initiatives as they minister among educators in the country.
KENNY D. EBO Communications Staff IVCF Philippines firstname.lastname@example.org