October 2019

Brian was wandering in an urban wilderness when he heard a phone ring in a phone booth on the sidewalk. Like Moses at the burning bush, Brian stopped, scratched his head and answered the strange call. At least he picked up the receiver, but the line went dead, so Brian hung up and walked away. A moment later Brian heard a slap on the booth behind him. Turning to look again, the “bush” was now ablaze.

There was a torn piece of paper stuck to the side of the phone booth with a handwritten message in flame orange ink. “Please remember you are loved,” it read. Brian could not believe his eyes and, just like Moses, his life was never the same. Here is the brief backstory on Brian:

Brian was a sophomore in high school when he was abandoned by his parents and left homeless. Three months later, a single mother of four welcomed Brian into her home. All she had to offer was a small closet, a sleeping bag and a pillow, but it was a five-star upgrade from the cold asphalt behind Home Depot where Brian had been sleeping. Brian was desperate to know that God existed and that God cared, so one night he stared at the ceiling of the closet and asked God for a sign. A few months later, Brian was wide-eyed beside the phone booth, standing on holy ground.

Brian left the phone booth that day and headed straight to the high school that he had dropped out of the year before. “What do I need to do to graduate?” he asked the administration. Two years later Brian was speaking at commencement when he saw another sign. His Young Life leader, Brett, was stuck to the back wall, beaming, “Please remember you are loved.”

That night Brett and Brian sat and talked in Brett’s driveway until 2 a.m. Somewhere in the evening Brett pulled out a blaze-orange Bible and talked with Brian about the God who listens to people who pray in closets. Today Brian is on Young Life staff introducing kids to Jesus Christ.

Thank you for supporting Young Life. Thank you for helping plaster kids’ lives with reminders of God’s love. Just like Moses, you are helping captives find their way to freedom. It is a privilege to partner with you in God’s redeeming work.

In Christ for all kids,

Newton F. Crenshaw