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Several summers ago, God used a S.A.Y. Yes! Center® in Bakersfield, California to change the life of Bobby, a 3rd grader with a tough home life and a family in desperate need of the love of Jesus.
Three years later, the seeds that were planted in his family's hearts have bloomed into something beautiful, surprising, and full of hope.
When Bobby and his older sister Lucy first visited the after-school center at Crossroads Church, Lucy was bright and energetic, but a failing student who had been suspended six times and couldn't get back on track. And while Bobby frequently asked questions about God, he seemed to care more about roughhousing with other boys his age than about learning.
Until Marta from S.A.Y. Yes!® invited him and Lucy to Vacation Bible School. After the first day's Bible lesson, he approached Marta through a crowd of kids and parents, looking determined. "Ms. Marta," he said, "I want to be part of God's family." Bowing his head with Marta, Bobby prayed that Jesus would forgive his sins and make him part of His family. Almost as an afterthought, he added, "And my sister Lucy needs Jesus, too. Amen."
The very next day, Lucy marched up to an astonished Marta and said, "How can I be saved like Bobby?"
God had a wonderful plan for Bobby and Lucy's lives ... and that was just the start.
Despite the change in Bobby and Lucy, their mother, Victoria, remained withdrawn. She kept a careful distance from Marta and the other mentors even as they welcomed her whenever they met. For three years, Marta chiseled away at the wall around Victoria's heart with faithful prayer and love.
Then, one seemingly random day, Victoria walked into the church office and announced, "I need Jesus." Marta listened as Victoria opened up her heart and told her story for the first time. In answer to three years' of prayer, Victoria prayed in faith to receive Jesus Christ as her personal savior.
Now, every Sunday, Victoria sits in the front row at Crossroads and absorbs God's Word like a sponge. "She's growing in leaps and bounds," Marta says. And as for Lucy and Bobby – just last year, Lucy sought out Marta to tell her she had received all A's on her last report card!
Out of the 35 kids currently plugged in to S.A.Y. Yes! at Crossroads, seven other neighborhood children have also started regularly attending church. Please join us in praying for these kids, that God would continue using S.A.Y. Yes! to plant and sow seeds that bring their families to be a part of His family!
I tend to avoid things that are awkward or uncomfortable, and there are some challenging topics for the Church in America today. Then I went to Creating Options Together.
What is poverty? A lack of money? A lack of education? Housing? Hope? Yes, poverty is all that and more. At its root poverty is a lack of options. And nowhere in America do people have fewer options than in our inner cities.
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