I had several guys that I knew were in for murder. One of the guys came up to me and asked me about talking about him the last time I was on the pod. I did not know who he was although he looked very familiar. He then told me his name and I knew exactly who he was! I had so much wanted to come across him because of his reputation on the streets. He was known to be a wild gun shooter on the streets. He kept a very hard attitude with me but as we progressed we started joking. At one point I asked if I could talk to the group about him. He looked at me funny but gave the ok. I have talked about him many other times but since he was present I thought it proper to get his permission.
A couple summers ago we were holding 9 p.m. services on Friday nights in “The Mac” (McDougald Terrace Projects). We were holding the services at that time and place because of the high crime level that was going on. One night there was one of many shootings in the area and there had been a young man shot in the head. Residents had told me of the man’s brain matter being on the parking lot. The shooting had taken place on a Thursday night. On Friday it had rained so the ground was soft and we had to move our location for the service. I ended up preaching right where he had laid after being shot. Everyone said that there was no doubt that he was going to die. I told him and the group that he was alive because the Lord still had a plan for him even though you could tell he still is not ready to surrender. At one point when he was being arrogant I looked him in the eyes and said “I sure hope that I don’t end up putting your name up on our wall. Most of the guys know of the wall at our headquarters with the names of all that have been murdered since we started ministry in Durham. We are over 170 now since January 1, 2009.
There were times of near tears for myself and others and there were times of all of us laughing. What really brought the meeting together was when I was talking about being at different murder sites in the city. I would tell the location then for some reason I could not think of the name of the person murdered. A number of times someone said the first name then before anyone else could say the last name I would remember it. So many gave me a look like “he really does know what is going on”. I know that it brought me credibility with them. I praised the Lord that he refreshed my memory time after time. I would say that many if not all in this meeting were gang members. The Lord was really doing something for the future in this meeting!
There is one young man that I have met with one on one that is in for murder. I know that his life is changed. He loves Jesus now and says that his life will never be the same. I continue to see him and usually when I am doing groups he sits next to me. He really wants to be part of Bull City Outreach when he gets out. I am very excited about what is going on in the Durham Country Jail!
NOTE: I am late getting this out. I started it near two weeks ago and haven’t been able to get back to it until today. Since then the mother and aunt of several of the inmates that I have been working with showed up at our headquarters. She now has a 13 year old son that is on the same track. She wants me to attempt to meet with him. I will be going to his court date later this month. I have also had a tremendous breakthrough with the 21 year old gang member who is known for so much shooting on the streets. I have met with him twice and our meetings have been great! He said he is tired of living the way he has been and that he wants to give back by helping the youth not to follow in his footsteps. This is a guy that is known by the high majority of police officers in Durham! I am very excited about the direction he is beginning to head.