Not Just an Ordinary Teen
By Rebekah Hamrick
Special to Assist News Service
FAYETTEVILLE, NC (ANS) -- Jeremy was an ordinary kid who
spent most of his time playing football and hanging out with his
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,”
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
More from ASSIST News
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
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