When it came time for the 13 year olds case to be heard the mother asked me to come up right behind him to sit with her. The judge asked who I was and I was able to introduce myself and the ministry. Many of the juveniles laugh and smile as their case is being discussed. The mother asked the judge if part of the terms for him being release from juvenile would be that he had to spend time each week with me. The judge then asked me how long I would want him and I said "two hours a week". She told him that he better do everything that I say or she would lock him back up!
Our first meeting I had him down at headquarters to look at the wall. At 13 he probably knew 25 people on the wall. He knew an 18 year old gang member that had recently murdered a 37 year old just down the street from us. He knew a 16 year old that had shot his grandfather point blank in the face. He knows way too much for being just 13 years old and he told me that he was not afraid of anything! Police officers today have an extremely difficult job trying to figure out who the bad guys are. It is hard to believe that they have to be concerned about a kid that is not even a teenager shooting them. Our next stop was going to be the funeral of the 37 year old who was known on the streets as a gang member and drug dealer. When we got there we went right up and stood at the casket. I told him if he didn't change what he was doing this would be his future. I know the funeral hit home. He told his mother that he didn't like me taking him to the funeral. I talked to him after taking him to lunch this past Thursday that I did it because I care for him and do not want to place his name on our wall. The lunch included talking to a older guy who was once gang affiliated and now is a preacher. Next weeks time with me will include sitting down with a judge for lunch. He had no idea this is happening. She will show him the love of Jesus and also spank his tail!
I have ministered to many 16 year olds in the Durham County Jail. I did not think that it was a good idea to have them in with the adults but now I am being able to see that they are really worse than the adults. We have a huge problem here!
Last night we came across a young gang banger who had attempted to give us a hard time out at The Mac. They had told us several times that we needed to leave which we ignored. The next thing they stopped and he told me that he needed to talk to me. I stepped aside with him then he pulled up his shirt revealing his gun. He told me that he said it was time to leave. I made it clear that we were spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that we were not planning on leaving anytime soon. It was no coincidence that he was on the corner around another crime ridden project last night when we rolled up on him. I did not recognize him right away but it did not take long. I asked him where I knew him from and he said "The Mac" and I knew right away. He said "I was the one who kept you from being shot". I was quick to make it clear to him that he did nothing and that my protection comes straight from Jesus Christ! He had been in an altercation and was scraped up but needed a ride which we gave him. He kept talking about how high ranking he was and the murders he had committed. He is somewhat dangerous but most of all he is a mixed up little kid who has never had any guidance in his life. He has never had a role model to follow that had any fruit on the tree. He was using foul language and I told him that he was not going to talk like that in the van. He apologized and even said that he wanted out of the gang but couldn't get out. He said that he wanted to change and I gave him my card. He was on something which made him keep going back and forth. He even showed that he was still packing a gun. He is probably in so deep that he can not go anywhere without it. It is a very sad situation but we must just keep going to work for Jesus and hopefully we can direct some of them to the right path.