“Will I go to hell if I kill someone?”
That was not a question Pastor Parris was expecting when he arrived at his partner school that day. Every Thursday, Pastor Parris meets with a group of 13 “incorrigible” kids. “Give me all of them!” had been his enthusiastic, albeit naive, response to his principal’s request for mentors. On this particular Thursday, they were talking through life lessons based on an ancient proverb when one of the kids began crying.
“Why are you crying, son?”
“…Will I go to hell if I kill someone?”
Wow. Pastor Parris sensed the stirring of the Holy Spirit and immediately stopped the lesson.
“What do you mean?”
The child began sharing that he was being bullied and that he had planned to bring a gun to school the following day to shoot someone. Pastor Parris gently asked if he had mentioned this to anyone.
“Have you reported the bullying to your counselor, your teacher, or your principal?”
“No. No. No.”
Pastor Parris walked across the room, gave the child a hug, and told him he was going with him to let the counselor and principal know. Praise God that as a result of the conversation, the child began receiving counseling and school administrators were made aware of some serious challenges that could now be addressed.
As much as the teachers and staff were caring for these kids on a daily basis, they could not have known about every challenge. It was the consistent presence of one more caring adult – one hour every Thursday – that allowed this precious child to feel safe enough to share.
Lives are literally being saved because of the faithfulness of churches across Greater Houston. Thank YOU for joining us in this work.