Making New Friends at the SoCal Harvest
Imagine being called out in front of your peers at church by the pastor! That’s exactly what happened to Leonardo, but it was just what he needed. "My life was full of sin, gangs, drugs; I was ready to give up on life." He found himself sitting in a church pew one evening while a guest pastor was giving a strong message and pointed directly at him. The pastor told him in front of the congregation that he was "turned off" and he needed to let go of the past and get "turned on." After the service the pastor shared with Leonardo how God can forgive him and wash away his sin, and he prayed for him. He says, "It was only a couple of weeks before change began to happen in my life, it was hard at times but I didn’t want to go back to what I was; it was worth it." Now at 18 Leonardo is walking strong with the Lord, but if he had a chance to go back and tell his younger self what he knows now, he would say, "Don’t do it! It will bring regret into your life. Go with Jesus and don’t look back!"
Leonardo came to tonight’s SoCal Harvest to learn something new about God. He ended up making a new friend: Malachi, a 15-year-old young man who grew up in a Christian household, but has found it difficult at times to walk with the Lord. He admits there are times when he’s mad at God, but he believes God can change him. "I know what I should do, but I need to stay focused. I need to change things in my head; my friends can be bad influences. My aunt and uncle are always inviting me to church. I need to go more often, and I need to be strong. I’m hoping to get inspiration tonight; I know pursuing God is worth it."
One thing that stood out to me when speaking with this young man was that he mentioned how much he loved reading the Bible with his mother. Being the mom of a young man myself, this really touched my heart. Malachi, we pray you will be inspired by Pastor Greg’s message and pursue God with your whole heart, because you’re right: it will be totally worth it!