Acts 7:59
While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

Estefan is the Spanish name for Stephen.

Estefan is a kid at our feeding center.  Remember him?  The Piñata thief from last year’s party.  A very hard case.  Some would say an impossible case.  More than one person visiting here have told me to write him off.

Over the decades, I’ve learned to take the advice of visiting teams and absentee ‘pastors’ with a grain of salt.  Some have great advice, some don’t.  I have been burned in the past by blindly taking another’s advice, even though I knew the Lord was showing me something different.  I have learned to wait on God.  He will show us what to do through His Word and through our prayer.  I love advice from others and I actively seek it.  However, the ultimate decision and consequences are mine and the kid’s.  I have to live with them.

In the Bible, Stephen was the church’s first martyr.  He was noted among the young men in the early church as a devoted follower.  How was Stephen before he believed?  Who knows?  Who cares?  I am just glad that the disciples didn’t write him off before he became a believer.  He has been a great example in my life, as well as centuries of other Christians who have read his story.  He was a kid, alone, and in front of his murderers.  No one was around him, so Stephen took advice from his Heavenly Father.  Obediently, Stephen said, ‘forgive them!’ and then he fell to sleep.  Wow.  Talk about great advice!

It is easy to embrace the polite and pretty kids when you work with children.  It is hard to embrace the rebellious and troublesome kids.  These kids are furious with everyone!  No one likes them.  We need to love them though.

Our job is to love and encourage them all and let God sort them out.  We need to embrace and teach them.  We have to show them that Jesus loves ALL the little children, not just the poster children.

BTW, Estefan has turned around 180 degrees this year and has become one of my best kids ever!


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