There is a young man named Tey who lived in our neighborhood until recently. He has four brothers and a single mom who is doing the best she can with what she has. We have developed a friendship over the last 1 1/2 years and have been able to help his family in times of need. My wife has been the main connection as he seems to respond best to her motherly instincts.
Tey graduated from high school this past year and has been working to follow a plan to help his future. He has overcome many personal and system obstacles to be a well-balanced, thoughtful, and caring young man who knows what he wants to do to help himself and his family. He has come to our church a few times and is always the initiator on attending even though he knows the door is always open. He was back in town this weekend and texted Dana earlier to ask if he and his friend could get a ride to church. She was obviously more than happy to help and had no idea how this day would end.
At the end of our service during our closing song, Tey came forward to talk with our lead pastor and asked to be baptized. He admitted he had always believed in Jesus, but had never had anyone communicate how important baptism was. We certainly never expected to have this happen on this first Sunday of the new year and also recognize it wasn't the result of one person's efforts.
One of our elders is a teacher who knew Tey as a troubled elementary student and can attest to his maturity. This same elder helped drive him to Macon for an appointment this past year and has continued to pray for him. My wife has consistently been there for him and has helped in conversation, physical needs, and in prayer. Mike spoke today about baptism in a way that touched Tey's heart and helped to inspire him to take action. These three people (and many others I am sure) all contributed to helping Tey reach this point in his faith journey. Each role is important and valuable and a result of being obedient to God's calling to care for other people.
We are involved as a community in making a difference in the lives of others. There is a role for each person to play and value in the contributions we each make. It takes all of us to reach all of us.