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A Letter to David from Youth Minister Dan Bailey
I apologize for taking so long to write back to you. Suffice it to say that my life as the father of six kids and youth minister to a couple hundred more is pretty hectic. Please forgive me.
It was great hearing from you and yes, l'd love to review the course that you mention in your letters. As you know, God used your powerful testimony of redemption and hope in a huge way among our youth in February. So I would be excited to see any other material that you could share with us and to see how God can use it too impact the lives of more young people. To give you some background about our youth group, many of our teens come from rough situations - broken homes, abusive situations, no faith tradition, etc. These situations are all too common among today's youth generation. But despite these situations, God is working (Rom 8:28). Many of our youth have come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ at our youth center, the Journey Cafe, and are now what l'd call 1st-generation Christians. They have experienced the forgiveness, redemption and life-changing power of Jesus and a bold in living and witnessing for Him. (Having had a life-changing salvation experience, you know what l'm talking about!)They are bold in their faith and are really serving as inspirational examples to our adult congregation.
I wanted to give you an update about our youth group too. Since the great baptism in February, many of the kids in our youth group have experienced great spiritual growth. One of our boys, who is going to be a senior this year, is considering becoming a chaplain at a prison or hospital. One of our girls received a word from God that she should become a missionary. Others are considering going into other aspects of the ministry in God's Kingdom. We recently attended the "Creation," a huge Christian music festival in central PA. Our group consisted of over 50 teens (along with about 100 adults and some elementary-age kids). At that event, 13 more teens were baptized. At the close of the Creation week, we had a church service at our campsite. The service was focused on the testimonies of many of our teens who told of how God is really changing their lives. The teens were an example to our adults about how a Christian should live and boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus.
We also just got back from our week-long mission project in Reading, PA, a city known for major drug- and gang-violence and poverty. About 45 teens participated in this week in which we shine the light of Christ by serving elderly and handicapped people and repairing their homes. We praise God in the name of Jesus for protecting us all during the week and using us to bring glory to His Name.
Also, after the events of the mass baptism in February, I told our senior pastor about it. He usually writes his sermons many months in advance. Well, two weeks ago, he did a sermon on radical forgiveness, redemption and transformation. He told the story about the baptisms at the Journey Cafe and showed a portion of your video testimony from the Testimony: Profiles In Faith series. It was neat that over 400 people were able to hear your story that Sunday. I know that God used it to make an impact on our congregation. Please be encouraged that God is using your life story and your work in the prison to bring Him glory and reach the lost! Praise be to God!
Brother David, Son of Hope, I hope you are doing well and that God is continuing to strengthen you and use you in mighty ways. Thank you for writing to me and thank you for the enclosed bookmark and tracts. Please feel free to write again.
God bless you and your ministry to the other prisoners!
Dan Bailey, youth minister