One of the gals, I'll call her Madison, I found out lives with her grandmother. I was unable to find out why she lives with her grandmother and not her biological parents. What was clear, however, was that she has a huge love deficit.
I know this because also along for the program was a slightly older boy, I'll call Aaron who also had his own issues, the least of which was that at 15 he believed he knew more about animals, ecology and the zoo than I did. However, this boy, in less than 24-hours had captivated the heart of this girl to the point that in the middle of the second day of this program I had to take them aside and tell them that their displays of affection were inappropriate for the program we were doing.
It broke my heart.
I watched this girl all weekend, so starved for love, so searching for acceptance and identity, see this boy and decide that she wanted him for herself. I watched it all happen and felt so powerless to do anything about it.
I firmly believe that in the heart of every person is a deep, deep desire for love and acceptance. Outside of the Lord, we look to get that anywhere we can.
For the kids of this generation, who come from broken and horrific circumstances, and who have been told the message that if it feels good you should pursue it, the need for rescue from a savior who can restore and redeem them is more tangible than ever.
Yet, how can she be rescued if no one brings her the good news?
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
Jesus did not come to save us from the World but to send us INTO it.
I firmly believe that we cannot follow Jesus and have growing revelation of who He is and not have a growing heart for the last, the lost and the least. If we are spending more time in front of the TV, spending more money on Starbucks, praying more for ourselves then the last, lost, least, then we are deceived and we do not have the love of Christ in us. If we are spending more time with our friends or even in a prayer room than we do with the last, lost and least, then we are deceived.
As for me, and my friend "Madison," I am praying for her. I am praying that she would encounter the true saving love of Jesus. I was not the messenger, but I pray that someone else will be.