On Saturday, June 18, 15 incarcerated youth attended St Andrew’s. The field trip was sponsored by Pacific Youth Correctional Ministries (PYCM) to give the youth a taste of connecting with a local church and help them see that there is indeed a place for them in the Body of Christ. The 12 men and 3 young ladies first gathered in The House at 4:30 p.m. for a short time of worship led by Tyler and then Pastor Cody officially welcomed them, giving them an overview of the youth ministry at St Andrew’s. A five-minute testimony was also shown of a young man that got involved at Northeast of the Well after he was released from Juvenile Hall a few years ago.
Amazing worship music filled the air as the group entered the sanctuary for the evening service at 5:30 p.m. It felt like the service had been specially planned to reach the hearts of the youth and afterwards they were treated like special guests at the monthly Super Saturday gathering. One of the young men stopped Chaplain Rick of PYCM before sitting down to eat dinner and said, “I feel more welcomed here than with my own family.” This young man had run away from his home in Yorba Linda and slept under a bridge for a couple months. A few minutes later, another youth pulled him aside to say, “I think the message tonight was for me. It was like he knew what I have been going through.” This other young man is searching and had read a book written to persuade young African-American men to embrace the teachings of Islam.
The youth were surprised that Conner, who shared his testimony in services that evening, came to sit down at one of the tables and encourage them. The Probation staff could see that the youth were having a great time and stayed a little longer than planned. Some of the guys even asked if they could come back once they are released. The youth expressed their appreciation to St. Andrew’s a couple days later by sending a thank you card filled with their feelings about the night. Also, special thanks to member, Brian Davison for helping to host the youth during their time at St. Andrew’s.
Click Here to learn more about this ministry or contact our Missions Department 949.574.2240.