A thief at the house
The thief began by breaking a window at the Students International (SI) campus next door to our new house. He went inside and took a digital camera and some other electronics before making a break for it. He then proceeded through the wooded ravine and onto our property, but we weren’t there. We were in the States for summer break, and so one of our older students was watching the house for us while we were gone. His name is “Peter”, and he is one of our favorite students, completely trustworthy and with a real servant’s heart towards his fellow students, teachers, and everyone he meets.
“Peter”saw what was going on and grabbed a baseball bat to give chase, eventually overcoming the ladron (thief), and holding him there until authorities arrived. The thief was taken to jail in nearby La Vega, and “Peter” became something of a local celebrity for catching the bad guy. This was the story that we heard via email this summer and thought that was the end… but as we arrived home in the DR we learned there was more.
It turns out the thief was a mere 16 years old. His parents pleaded with the director of SI that they not press charges and send him to jail, that they work something out. As a local ministry, SI wasn’t excited about this young boy spending 40 days surrounded by criminals, with perhaps only a single session with a counselor. And so they agreed to have him repay the damage to the window and work for them for 40 days instead. It began with 3 weeks of doing physical labor, and then they had him work at some of their ministry sites helping serve others. Slowly, they began to see a change. In his final week with SI he was involved in their sports ministry, under the wise direction of a local man named Raul. Raul worked alongside him, and took the time to talk to the young man about life, about direction, about decisions, and about the most important decision of all – how would he reconcile the sin in his life with a just and righteous God?
But there is good news for this young man (and all of us!). God has already provided a way to reconciliation, has already paid the price on our behalf. God is not only just, not only righteous, but also abounding in mercy. Just like Christ told another thief on the cross next to his “today you will be with me in paradise,” all we have to do is ask for forgiveness and place our trust in Christ’s redeeming work – and we are spared the punishment we deserve. This is the “Gospel” and it is good news indeed!And so the young man accepted Christ, and the course of his life has been changed forever.
This brings us back to our young friend “Peter”, whose course in life is also changing. You see, while he is beloved by all who know him, the first to volunteer assistance, the first to serve others, and who is kind, generous, and trustworthy – he struggles academically and failed his junior year of High School. “Peter”will not be a student at Doulos this year and our community will be lacking because of that.
Will you join with us in praying for him? Pray that he will find a new direction, that he will not lose heart, and that he will continue to grow in his relationship with Christ and reach the full potential that God has in store for him.
Harley, Abby, Kaden, Tavin, Logan