Monday, April 17, 2017

Our Young Teenager Was in a Dark Place

God used the men in Battalion and the call to serve as a key means of saving a young man from the darkness into which he'd fallen.
We live in a dark world. The Bible is clear that we ought not to be surprised when "we face trials of many kinds." But when our children encounter this darkness for the first time it understandably rocks their world. This is what happened to the young man in the following letter when he experienced "a heartbreaking loss." His faith suffered and his parents felt they had lost their "sweet gentle son." But that is not where his story ends! God used the men in Battalion and the call to serve as a key means of saving this young man from the darkness into which he'd fallen. You can read more in the following letter from his mother. 

Dear CSB Ministries,

I want to let you know what a difference you have made in our son’s life. We’ve taught our children about Christ since the day they were born, had them in Sunday school, and even taught Sunday School, ourselves. They participated in Bible Study groups, children’s programs and we read from the Bible together as a family. They were baptized when they were 8, understood and could relay the gospel to others. They knew their decision to follow Christ must be personal and that following Him was more than lip service.

After experiencing a heartbreaking loss, our young teenager was in a dark place. We sought help and prayed constantly for him. During this time, my husband and I told our son that he must attend his choice of either Battalion or Youth Group. I questioned whether it was right to “force” him to participate in church activities when he was so resistant to do so. Because of the great leadership who reached out to our son and continued to encourage him, he chose to attend Battalion, but still fought us every week because he didn’t want to go to either activity.

That first year was difficult, but by the banquet at the end of the year, he had developed some friendships and made the decision on his own to attend the following year. He began to feel that his friends at Battalion were depending on him and he didn’t want to let them down.

When the next season began, our son was ready early and worked hard to accomplish his achievements. He was moving quickly through the program and in the fall, was promoted to Lance Corporal. With his promotion came the expectation that he would take on the responsibility to study God’s word and keep a prayer journal. We began to notice a significant change in him during this time. Our sweet, gentle son was beginning to return to us. In addition, he was becoming more responsible around the house, completed tasks without complaint, and stopped talking back. He was beginning to show maturity and demonstrated a new respect for authority. Our extended family began to see the difference and comment on what a miraculous change was taking place.

Just before New Year’s Day, our son came to me. He said he knew he had asked Jesus to come into his heart when he was four years old but he had to wonder if he really had known what he was doing at that young age. He said he wanted to make sure he was right with God, so together we prayed. He told me that since that day, he has had peace.

I can’t tell you how grateful I am for God’s magnificent grace and any way that he has used your program in our son’s life. Since that day, he has attended a Battalion camp and is excited about an upcoming non-com camp. There is something special about the comradery and brotherhood that is offered in Battalion—something I cannot give him. Thank you for expecting him to be responsible. Thank you for helping him learn to be a leader. Thank you for the difference you’ve made. I am so very proud of the young man he is becoming.

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