A Place in the Kingdom of Heaven

World Challenge Staff

God is using World Challenge’s partners in the United States to help the next generation join the church body with all of their unique gifts and strengths.

“My father left when I was about ten, and he is not in my life,” Angel told our partners. Before he was even in middle school, he had already joined a gang, been in fights and tried drugs. “I knew of God as a creator, but I viewed him as an angry God that was disappointed in me.”

Angel was 12 when he developed a crush on a girl at school who was on the worship team for World Challenge’s partners in Reading, Pennsylvania. Although he was not yet a believer, he attended our partners’ community service and evangelistic program called “Feet on the Street.” The budding romantic relationship did not ultimately work out, but Angel had begun to look up to one of the team leaders named Daryl as a father.

The relationship with Daryl was one that he desperately needed. He explained, “I didn’t have anyone in my life at that point helping me know how to be a good man.” He became more involved in the program, and at 14, he accepted Christ into his life.

Transformation and Growth

Angel expressed an interest in playing drums as part of the band for the youth, and while the team was willing to help him start learning, they held off making him part of the worship team until he had some time to grow and mature in Christ. After two years of him regularly being part of the program, they began integrating him into the worship team.

“During this time,” Angel shared, “I started to work at a construction company…. I was making really good money, but I admit, I was really bad at managing the money! I liked to spend it all. Then Daryl hired me to do mechanical work and also helped me to learn to become a good steward of money.

“I continue to grow and learn. Being on the worship team means a lot to me. It is always about my heart’s position toward God. If I’ve had garbage to deal with during the week, I have to run to Jesus with abandonment before being ready to play drums for worship. My heart always has to be right before I go onto the drums for him. When I play drums, I just worship my heart out!

The practically applications of Angel’s spiritual growth and Daryl’s mentorship are starting to play out in beautiful ways. “Now, I am starting a new job and in the process of buying the home that I am renting,” Angel said in celebration. “I will be the first in my family to own a home!”

The Body of Christ at Work

“Feet on the Street” is more than a simple evangelistic crusade group; their goal is to see God raise up the next generation of church and community leaders, but that can only happen with the practical help and spiritual discipline that mentors like Daryl offer.

Angel shared, “FOTS is known for raising people up, and I am really excited about the connection with Transformative Solutions Network and World Challenge that is helping me and the others with leadership and discipleship…. I am excited for the opportunity to learn from different parts of the body of Christ. I am thankful for the leaders I am getting to know from the Transformative Solutions Network. I do not know all of the qualities needed for great leadership, but I want to! I am excited to learn more about evangelism and apologetics.”

In the meantime, Angel has started a Bible study group at church for nine boys between the ages of 13 and 16. Everything he’s learning is being almost immediately put into practice. The value of the church body’s knowledge and varied talents is being put to its best use helping this young man and many other young adults learn about God and how they fit into the kingdom of heaven.