In a North African village, a desperate Muslim mother was trying to save her son.
“Please come home; I am sick and about to die.”
Her son had been sent off to a camp for training as a suicide bomber camp in a forest in the middle of nowhere. They convinced him it was the best mission in life he could have, because not only would he be respected from followers on earth, but would get into heaven with all the pleasures and privileges that would involve (including 70 special women).
When he got the phone call that his mother was dying in the hospital, he got permission to leave the camp, but he had to promise he would return.
His mother had told him a lie – she was not sick, and she was not dying – but she had to do what she could in order to get him back home to her.
When he got home to her, he was watching TV during the night and saw a Christian program in his language, talking about the power of Jesus, His grace, and how we could be changed. He called the number on the screen and was directed to go to a church – where he met ____, a Youth for Christ worker. It was here that the young man accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour.
He attended a Youth for Christ retreat with _____. On the retreat he shared that he previously had a deep hatred for the West, but then he found Christ and became new and changed.
Today, though he has gone through some hard times and struggles, he and _____ are close friends. _____ regularly visits him at his home which is very poor, not even a bed to sleep on or a toilet.
This young man surrendered his life to Christ and discovered new hope. He walked away from violence and death, and into the light of Christ. His mother, too, came to follow Jesus shortly after her son, after she had a dream about Jesus.
Now, their lives are changed forever, and they have hope and purpose.
This is what Youth for Christ does around the world in over 100 countries, every single day. Many young people are on a pathway to violence and crime – but Youth for Christ is working to bring the light of Jesus into their lives and save them from a life of misery. We work in juvenile prisons, extreme conditions and fundamentalist environments to bring love and peace into the hearts of very troubled young people.
I personally know many young people who have been saved from a life of crime and are now living for Jesus – even several who were part of rebel or terrorist organisations. They are now following Christ, thanks to our intervention.
Youth for Christ is made up of tens of thousands of indigenous people in over 100 nations each seeking to spread God’s message of hope to the young people of their nation. We have intervened in the lives of those who no longer had hope, and brought them the word of the Gospel. Through this work, Christ is able to save their souls, redeem their spirits, and save them from further suffering.
This weekend we celebrate the hope and redemption of Easter, the beautiful gift of eternal life we were given when Jesus died for our sins. Through His resurrection, we, too, can be risen. When we come to Him, we become new – just as the would-be suicide bomber became new, when he gave his life over to Him.
Being involved with Youth for Christ makes a difference. It makes a difference in the lives of young people and their families whose lives are lost, scarred and shattered – and we bring them the saving message of Jesus, and they begin to live in His Will.
I want to wish a safe and Happy Easter to you and your family. Thank you for your continued support of Youth for Christ.