Joel is now sponsored for Christmas!!
When someone tells you they feel worthless, you suddenly begin grasping for anything worth saying.
I first met Joel when he lived at 21, a boys’ home in town. When I came last year, Amber and I played Bingo with the kids there at least twice a week. I took the picture to the left on my last day at 21 last year.
He seemed like a little boy then.
When I met Joel again a year later, he was living at Breaking Chains and that little boy had addictions and enough self-doubt to break your heart.
Joel’s addictions overcame him a few weeks ago, and he had to leave the building. In the midst of it all, I had an emotional conversation with him. “I feel worthless,” he said to me. I have no one.”
“Joel, you’re not worthless, and you’re lying to yourself if you think you have no one. We’re here for you, all of us, but we can’t force you to make the decisions you need to make. It’s your choice, but we’re here to offer you a family, a community. We want you to take it. We love you. God loves you. But none of us can make you take the opportunities in front of you. It’s your decision, but we want to help.”
And then I fell silent and hugged while Joel while he cried. He was still a little drunk; so, I’m not sure he remembers what I said. But I pray, even as I write and cry about this sweet boy, that God will use us to show Joel he was worth the Messiah dying for to give him grace.
Joel floats in and out of the ministry. So, we believe he’ll be back and likely in the coming weeks. I pray that’s true, and I ask you to pray the same.