Though only a teenager, 15-year-old Jerenis has been able to experience the power of Christ influencing his life.
Jerenis, like many inner-city youth, comes from a single parent home and struggles from the lack of a regular father presence.
Some issues he has faced due to his broken home life have been deep anger, an apathetic attitude towards school and reluctance to socialize.
Despite his regular attendance and participation in our Youth Center for several years, Jerenis was content to just play games with little desire for a spiritual life. Just last year, however, he finally realized his need for a Savior and gave his heart to God!
One of our staff who explained the Gospel to him also became a life mentor and a stable male role model. Now, through spiritual mentoring and academic tutoring, Jerenis has been able to curb some of those negative behaviors and rely on Christ to influence his decisions. He has given up his short fuse and has stopped lashing out at other children and family members, all while being faithful in church.
When starting the 9th-grade last year, he admitted to barely being able to read. Now, just 1 year later, he is able to read the Bible with other kids in his discipleship class and go through his tutoring sheets far easier than before.
Jerenis says that without the Youth Center he would be left at home to play video games or be out with the wrong kind of friends.
He also believes that without the special tutoring we freely offer, which his family could not afford, he may have never learned to read or write or be able to graduate from his high school. Most of all, Jerenis is thankful that he had people to turn to who never turned him away and could finally yield to Christ and experience real peace.