By Courtney Martin, Program Director
In March, at Joy El’s Christian retreat center, we held our annual Mother Son Retreat and focused on the idea of “Passing the Torch” in sharing our faith with those around us in our families and communities. Our prayer was that all participants of this retreat would have the opportunity to experience life change through a personal encounter with God. This prayer became very tangible on the second night of the retreat for me.
Throughout our Saturday night session we focused in on a clear explanation of the Gospel message. After the session, mothers and sons went into a time to debrief together the message of the session and how that applies to their lives. Shortly after this debriefing time, I was up in the gym and one of the mothers attending the retreat sought me out. She shared that during the debriefing time she and her two sons had discussed understanding and believing the Gospel message. Her youngest son told her that he had never made that decision to begin a relationship with God, but he wanted to do so that night. The mom shared with me that she was unsure on how to walk her son through beginning a relationship with God, so she asked if I would be willing to talk with him. I told her I would love to have that conversation with her and her son.
Soon after she called her son over to talk with both of us. At first he was pretty shy, but quickly shared that he wanted to begin a relationship with God because he never had before. I’m smiling still as I recall the next few moments when he expressed his belief in Christ’s death for his sins, asked for God’s forgiveness, and expressed his desire to live in relationship with God.
In that moment as we prayed together, I had the opportunity to clearly see why we desire to see the mission of Joy El accomplished. For this one little boy his life will forever be changed because of the encounter he had with God during this retreat. I believe that his mom’s life will be greatly changed having seen the impact that sharing her faith had on the life of her son.