Lester* is one of our younger youths. He has struggled with Christianity and religion in general because he has been told by multiple people since he was little that he was going to hell. Lester was convinced by a staff to go to Chapel one Sunday, and I saw him for the first time in the crowd. He was crying. After Chapel, I heard his staff and a peer talking to him, and they encouraged him to talk with me. Lester then came up to me and asked, with tears in his eyes, “Is it true?” I was confused. “Is what true?” I replied. “That God really loves us, and that heaven is real?” My heart broke. Was this the first time he had ever heard the gospel? We prayed and I shared with him several verses in scripture pointing to God’s love, acceptance, and grace. The next week, he was in Chapel and has been almost every week since.
*For the privacy of the youth served at the Ranch, names have been changed. Image(s) shown here are a representation of those served at the Ranch.