Sunday January 11, 2009 – What a service … talk about going
to church … this was it. Gerry started with an inspiring playback of a
song on CD which I believe was entitled "Heed My Commandments".
He was encouraging the boys to learn scripture from music and this was a song
Gerry listened to every morning during his 90 minute drive to Georgetown.
Pam recognized Cindy Johnson's birthday and with the energy only Pam can
generate, took the boys on a roller coaster worship ride singing;
"Shout", "I Know It" and "Do You Feel the Mountains
Tremble." Yes, I felt the mountains tremble.
Then she introduced Carlos, Demetrius and Luis who have successfully completed
the Pegasus program and were going home. (Their names are on the web site
prayer list page to remind us to pray for them). She invited anyone in
the audience to come up and say a few words of encouragement which emptied 10%
or the seats. The line of boys waiting to speak had to exceed 20. Their
advice to the three young men was simple and direct; "Be a positive roll
model", "What you are returning to now is what was before. The
only real change is you", "Words hurt more than physical
punishment", "Do what you need to do", "Stay away from gangs",
"Try to do something worthwhile with your life". I am so
thankful Pam takes the time to honor these young men and gives their peers
opportunity to speak.
Lyndee prayed for the young men and said a few words with regard to Luis and
then Pam closed with "He Knows My Name". She then asked Ben
Carter to bless us and as usual he did.
Ben started by softly playing different melodies on the
piano and you could hear a pin drop in the packed auditorium. After about
5 minutes he began to hum and then very softly sang the words to; "Turn
Your Eyes Upon Jesus" then moving to "Blessed Hope" in such a
way that the two songs seem to have been written to be sang together.
Somewhere in this praise he encouraged his audience to not fear to ask God
questions using Old Testament leaders as an example. I was stirred … the
boys were stirred … the staff was stirred.
Our main speaker was supposed to be C.J. Solis but he had a surprise for
us. He gave the podium to a Joe Ramirez. Joe looked just like the
other young men in the audience. He is married, has a daughter
and attends First Assembly of God church. I would guess his age at
20. He had evidently been part of the gang culture and 2 years ago
received Jesus Christ as his personal savior which miraculously changed his
life. He spoke of getting rid of all the bling, rings and changing his
environment. After a few minutes he had the boys complete attention
encouraging them to follow his example; do your part, forgive and ask
forgiveness, don't use God, pray and God will find you, strive for perfection,
minister to your friends, you are going to do great things, be dedicated to God
with the same dedication you once had to a gang, find a good church,
etc;. His words were spoken from a thankful heart and blessed all of
us. Thank you Joe!