As I write this month’s message to you, I am at the Europe TC conference in Prague. At the end of this conference, I will fly on to Rwanda for the Africa Regional Conference. I greatly enjoy spending time with the Teen Challenge leaders from around the world. I especially enjoy our meals together as we visit about what God is doing in the lives of those coming into the program.
One evening I had dinner with the GTC Europe Regional Directors Tom and Terry Bremer, Petr Ministr and several staff from Teen Challenge Czech Republic. I happened to be sitting next to a young lady by name of Lada whom I had never met. As we were visiting, she asked in Czech to one of the other staff members, what part of the United States I was from, because she could not understand me. She understood the Bremer’s, but she did not understand me.
Well, that started a wonderful conversation about the accents of the south. Terry gave her some examples of how we southern folk talk and I had to laugh at how the conversation progressed and how we entertained the two staff members from TC Czech Republic. During the course of the evening, I found out that Lada was an intern who had recently completed the program and was now beginning her journey with Teen Challenge in a leadership role. The smile on her face was a beautiful picture of the grace of God.
The following evening, Petr Ministr was the speaker and he opened with a video of a young lady standing on a subway platform waiting for the train to arrive. The only problem was that this video showed a drug induced person rocking back and forth as if they were about to fall off the platform down onto the train tracks. In fact, after a minute and a half of rocking back and forth, the individual did fall, and seconds later a train ran right over where they had fallen. The subway system video cameras had captured it all. The absolute miracle was that the person who fell onto the tracks was alive and they were able to pull them out from under the train and back onto the subway platform. See Video.
I was surprised to find out that the person who fell onto the track and stumbled out alive and unhurt was Lada. As Petr introduced her to the audience tears filled my eyes. You see, she entered the doors of Teen Challenge shortly after this incident and Jesus changed her life. Lada has a beautiful a smile and a sense of freedom that only Jesus can give. She is a beautiful girl with a life ahead of her today because of the amazing program of Teen Challenge.
Lada and individuals like her are the reason we press on! Lada is the reason we keep going when the finances are tight and the challenges are many. Lives are at risk and so many are dying and missing out on the Hope that is available through Jesus Christ.
Can I say thanks to each of you who are giving your all to make it possible for men, women, boys and girls to find freedom and hope in Jesus? I know the battles are many, and I know this work is so hard at times, but Lada is alive today, 100% drug free and living for Jesus. Her life and story will impact so many as she walks out her faith and shares the love of Jesus with others.
Keep up the good work and thank God for Teen Challenge!
By the way, Lada likes my southern accent, even if she cannot understand me.
Jerry Nance PhD
Global Teen Challenge