Hans Benning and I had planned the day, but things did not go as planned and half of the group cancelled due to the flu. As Proverbs 16:9 tells us, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps”. God had His own agenda for us and as I contemplated what to do about the shortage of workers, God simply said, “Take the teenage boys.”
Nine young men joined us as we headed out to the ranch. Hans gave us a brief tour and talked about the men’s stories of drugs, alcohol, crime, self destruction and often violation of others.
He also talked about redemption and hope. This time planted seeds in these boys. As we began working, I got to know them better. Some boys worked quietly, some tried to find any reason to take a break, and some began sharing their lives. I soon realized that some of these boys had never thought about their future outside of the mission walls. So, we began brainstorming about their passions, skills and what it means to be disciples.
After lunch Hans had us remain in the dining hall. The words he began to speak echoed my heart’s desire. He shared the fear he had for the boys, not because of who they are or where they came from but because of the broken world we live in. He reminded them that God knows each of their names, but so does the devil and the men at the ranch are examples of listening to the wrong voice. We had each boy stand as we called them by name and laid hands on them as we prayed boldly for their minds and hearts. The men from Rancho and the visitors committed to praying daily for each one of these boys for the next year.
As I drove back to the mission, I was grateful for the plans God had for the day. This day was a highlight for the serving group, for me, and for these boys. A seed has taken root and lives have been changed!!
By Susan Eichensehr, Baja Mission