Many of you have heard or seen some of the students that we work with at Lifewell. Please allow me to take a moment to share with you one of the success stories that we have had. For the sake of privacy I will be calling this student by the name of Sandy. This is not her real name.
Sandy graduated from Zanesville High School and from the Vocational School with a certificate in Medical Assisting, and has applied for winter acceptance to Akron University and OUZ. Her heart's desire is to become a Pediatrician. This is a bright young woman who has been under the mentorship of our ministry for about 6 years. We walked with her in the devolopment of her self-esteem, Christian values and educational success. During her time with us, she has faced a house fire, parental separation and health issues and come out thriving! The letter she wrote to me about my mentorship and the support of the center would bring tears to your eyes. She is currently volunteering with our young elementary children, wanting to give back some of what she recieved as a Lifewell Student.
(Also not his real name.) Elijah came to the center three years ago with emotional issues that were causing major problems both in school and at home. After much nurturing and guidance, Elijah has grown into a respectful, attentive young man. He is flourishing in our scouting program and has been elected into leadership positions by his peers. He has had the opportunity to travel to other states and to learn and practice valuable leadership skills.
We have been blessed to plant seeds and see a spiritual harvest. Early on in our time after moving to 907 W. Main our first experience looked something like this: It was a winter day, and we were having our Monday Faith Club when one of the boys just burst and said, "I'm ready to ask Jesus into my heart, but I don't know how." The staff talked and prayed with him, and then watched as an incredible joy beamed on this boy's face.
The next day, as the Cub Scouts were doing the "God And Me" study, one of our more active boys sat quietly with his head on the table. The staff figured that he was not feeling well, but at the end of the study he came up to us and said that he wanted to ask Jesus to be his Lord and Savior. When we asked him what caused him to make that decision, he said that when he heard us share the words that God loved him enough to send his son to die on a cross so that he could live forever (John 3:16) -- He figured that if God loved him that much, he should love God too!
Since that time, we have had many experiences where we have been going about our normal center routines and a child comes up and wants to talk about salvation. What a privilege to be a part of God's work!
ROSE (not her real name)
One of the young ladies who has been with us for 4 or 5 years started out as a real handful. She was defiant of authority and continually involved in conflicts with her peers. There were times when her "times outs" from the center didn't seem to make much difference, because she would come right back and repeat the same behavior. Then came the day when Rose threw up her hands and said, "That's it! I don't want to have a bad life anymore. I am going to ask Jesus into my heart and ask him to help me." Since that day, Rose been transformed into a tween who goes out of her way to help others and to fulfill her responsibilities at home, school and center with excellence.
Several of our students attend a week long church camp each year at Camp Presmont. Camp is a wonderful time to develop relationships with Christ and to learn how to live in harmony with others in close quarters. Many life long friendships have begun at summer camp!