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FAITH

Not Just an Ordinary Teen

By Rebekah Hamrick
Special to Assist News Service

CBN.comFAYETTEVILLE, NC (ANS) -- Jeremy was an ordinary kid who spent most of his time playing football and hanging out with his friends.

Unfortunately, Jeremy's home situation was not so ordinary.

Jeremy's mom and his step-dad were alcoholics.

“I can remember time after time my step-dad beat my mom real bad, sometimes sending her to the hospital. I remember crying, weeping almost, and just screaming for him to stop hitting her. I was helpless, terrified, and confused,” Jeremy recalls.

One hundred miles separated Jeremy from his biological father, and transportation sometimes made it difficult for them to get together. During good times, Jeremy and his three brothers were able to see their father twice a month.

Jeremy always looked forward to the time he spent with his dad. They went bike riding at the park and cooked hot-dogs outside. Sometimes Jeremy and his brothers slept over at their dad's house.

But things continued to get worse at home. One night, Jeremy's step-dad hit his mother and busted her lip open. Blood poured down his face and neck. “I thought I was dreaming. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, and I couldn't do a thing to stop it!”

Jeremy was thirteen when he talked his mom into letting him move in with his biological father. “It was hard to leave my mom and my brothers, but I wanted to move in with my dad and get away,” Jeremy says.

Shortly after moving in with his father, Jeremy began to read a Bible his aunt had given him. “I was curious about what happened to people when they die. I wasn't satisfied with the answers my mom had given me. I needed to know.”

Late one night, Jeremy's father read from the Bible and showed Jeremy how he could have a home in heaven. Jeremy prayed, “Jesus, I know I'm a sinner and I need You to get to heaven. I don't want to go to hell. Please come into my heart and save me from my sins, and forgive me of them. I ask You in Your name, Amen.”

“I felt like a truck of guilt and pain and everything was lifted off me! It was the best feeling I have ever had,” says Jeremy.

It's been six years since Jeremy asked Jesus to be his Savior. He admits it hasn't been an easy road.

“At first I started wanting to read the Bible a lot, and I started caring about people more. I was more obedient. Things were going good for a while, but then I went through a spiritually dry spell. I was cussing and listening to rap and heavy metal, watching bad movies, and stuff like that. Then the Lord brought me back, and I started having an increased love for people.”

God changed Jeremy's heart and gave him a love for lost souls. Jeremy says God did it partly through his friend, Sarah Longstreet. “I didn't really talk to Sarah much when she was still with us, it was mostly what I heard others say about her, and the fact that she was so dedicated to live for Jesus and tell kids about Him.”

When Sarah died in a car accident in spring of 2001, Jeremy learned of a ministry opportunity to work with underprivileged kids during the summer, telling them about Jesus. He jumped at the chance!

That summer Jeremy had the opportunity to work with hundreds of children, leading many of them to the Lord.

Jeremy recalls one little girl he counseled. “Christine lived with her aunt and uncle. Her uncle used to beat her aunt, so I was able to relate to her. I told her a lot about how the past made me feel, and asked her how she felt about what was happening to her. She said she felt scared because they were hurting each other and she didn't know what to do about it.”

Jeremy was able to encourage Christine. “I told her that I understood what she was feeling, and that it was very scary. But God loved her and wanted to help her make it through it.”

Jeremy won't forget his childhood days, and the many tears he shed because of the pain. But there's also another day he won't forget: the day that Christine asked Jesus to be her Savior. “When I heard her pray, it made me cry. I couldn't believe that God used me to bring her to Himself.”

Funny, isn't it? God sure has a way of using ordinary kids to do extraordinary things.


Rebekah Hamrick is the Managing Editor of Teen Light, a totally teen-authored Christian magazine, and moderates its online, teen to teen support group (www.teenlight.org). She can be reached through Teen Light's e-mail address: publisher@teenlight.org.

More from ASSIST News Service

ASSIST News Service is brought to you in part by Open Doors USA, a ministry that has served the Suffering Church around the world for nearly 50 years. You can get more information by logging onto their website at www.opendoorsusa.org.

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