He had a simple strategy to build his flock .. 11 to 19-year-olds who were lost, neglected, abused, forgotten, and ignored by their families and society.
He knew they would be living on the edge of life with a bleak future, some already having given up. Some already having given in.
Most don’t believe hope survives in such an environment, but this shepherd isn’t like most. He knew if he could find these lambs and connect with them,
he could offer great hope. Hope for a remarkable future. Hope of a Good Shepherd.
Just as a shepherd leaves the 99 to find one lost sheep, this shepherd left the known and went to the tough places. Places of bitterness, violence and
mistrust. Places where he knew he would find the lost, the neglected, the abused, and the ignored. The heart of the American city.
His plan? To bring them out of the shadows and build relationships that would open the door to the irresistible, unconditional love of the Savior.
Genius in its simplicity, he found the worst neighborhood, one that reeked of violence and poverty, and was well-known for its blight. And he purchased
a house. Condemned and priced for more than it was worth, he paid $2,500.
He turned the house into a sheepfold. A place of safety where the sheep are protected, and the shepherd is present. Where provision abounds and love overflows.
Still barely livable when he finished his “renovation,” he used a modern-day shepherd’s staff to coax the lost lambs out of the crevasses. Out of the dark
into the light. With a basketball hoop.
Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance…
He began to dribble the ball and shoot hoops ... and they came.
They came out of curiosity and intrigue. But they came back because of the draw of the shepherd – a trusting relationship with a man that offered more
than they had ever experienced. Unconditional love. Respect. Honesty. Safety.
And that shepherd led them to the Good Shepherd. Hope was renewed. The lost were found.
For more information regarding City Life, an effective ministry model of Youth for Christ USA that transform the lives of urban youth, their families and the communities they live in, go to www.yfc.net/citylife