Once a runaway, Jamia is now waiting on God by Mike Petrillo
“You have need of endurance to do the will of God and receive what is promised.” Hebrews 10:36 In the spring of 2010 Jamia was wandering through the streets of Sacramento. She had run away from home and had no aim except to run. The backstory for that crisis goes like this, “Growing up I went to church, Sunday School, Awana, youth group. I even said ‘the prayer,’ but I had no ‘Father-God relationship.’ I am a Christian now because I have a relationship with God.” But the journey of discovering God’s love was not easy. “I was rebellious and confused and I don’t really know why I ran away. I know my thinking was clouded and deceived and worldly values had invaded my heart. I thought I was running away from God, but I was running away from myself.” For the last fourteen months at Christian Encounter Ministries, Jamia has been learning how to run to God, not away from Him. She graduated from high school after being on Honor Roll each quarter of her senior year. “I would not change anything that happened, including the mistakes I have made. I would have ruined my life if I were somewhere else now. I am here by God’s direction. I learned to have real friends here—not the ones you tell your secrets to, but the ones you grow with, encourage, and are completely honest with—the friends that call you out, pray with you, and long for your relationship with Christ to continue deepening. Most eighteen year olds graduate from high school and they just want to go somewhere. Find freedom. Sacrificing that for what God wants is more important than anything. I have to listen for His voice, not my voice.” That goal for Jamia involves endurance. Staying at CEM. Not running away. Staying as long as God leads her. “What I learned is that I don’t have to carry yesterday’s burdens today and that sufficiency in Christ is one day at a time. I don’t have to control the future. I am blessed to be alive. God doesn’t need me, but He chose me and chose to put me here at CEM.” Jamia is certain that a longer stay will help her see God’s big picture for her life. “Because I like to rush through things, not planning is calming to my heart, and it gives peace to me. I am not ready to leave until God says it’s okay. When we go on the CEM wilderness trip I want God to teach me how to listen to Him and how to wait for Him. My future goals can come later.” This is a huge jump of growth for the impulsive girl who ran away into danger, destruction, and deception. Jamia’s transformation is more pure evidence of God’s power, His mercy, His grace. It is all so good! Listening for the Lord is always good. Waiting for God is always rewarded. His mercies are new every morning. Being in fellowship with Jesus is the ultimate goal for life, and Jamia has discovered it. Her challenge is also our challenge: Wait for Him. Listen for Him. Endure. Sacrifice your plans for His bigger picture. That is the Christian walk.
Alexa, Jamia, and Yessenia are all learning the value of true friendships.
NONPROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE PAID GRASS VALLEY, CA PERMIT NO. 60
Christian Encounter Ministries PO Box 1022 Grass Valley, CA 95945 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED
Christian Encounter Ministries August 2011
Tending Lives…Training Leaders Since 1970 Christian Encounter Ministries is a non-profit, non-denominational, residential program helping 16- to 25-year-olds by providing love, spiritual guidance, high school education, counseling, and 24-hour supervision. Contact us at: www.ChristianEncounter.org cem@ChristianEncounter.org 530-268-0877
Summer just got here But winter’s coming!
Help!!! Autumn Work Day Saturday, October 8, 2011 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Lots of work, Lots of fun, and a great lunch for the whole family!