We found out about the fight on a Sunday afternoon.
We were celebrating a baptism in our church when we learned that Demetrius, an elementary schooler, neighborhood resident, and one of our Mission Kids had been beaten up by older neighborhood boys the previous Friday Night in the Rec Center parking lot. His hand had been injured and he would likely have to have surgery. What made this even worse was that one of the kids who had beaten him up was also one of our Mission Kids, an older boy named Elijah who had spent many of the past few weeks learning about God across the table from Demetrius, the boy he’d now beaten up.
We were devastated. We prayed. We brought all of our leftover food to Demetrius’ family that day so they wouldn’t have to make dinner as they cared for their son. We wept over the beauty and the brokenness of our lives and the lives of those in our community. We sought God: “Lord, what are you doing in this? How can we be a part of bringing your healing in this situation?”
A few weeks passed. We rejoiced when Demetrius found out he didn’t need surgery. Just a brace. Demetrius was there every Sunday but Elijah was nowhere to be found.
Then came the week we’d been anticipating for awhile: Demetrius and Elijah both came to Mission Kids on the same Sunday. One of our members, Anne was leading Mission Kids that Sunday. She loves these kids. She had been praying into this situation for weeks. She knew God was up to something. Over the course of the morning she took each of the kids aside for a one-on-one conversation. When she spoke with Demetrius, she talked to him about forgiving people who hurt you, about forgiving Elijah. When she spoke to Elijah she talked about reconciliation, about the need to apologize to Demetrius. God softened hearts that morning. God brought forgiveness and healing into the lives of Demetrius and Elijah. Where there had been pain and hurt, now there was healing and restoration. Jesus makes all things new!
Every week more than 15 kids from our community come to learn about the reconciling love of Jesus through our Mission Kids ministry. This is one of the many amazing ministries that you can support by giving to The Mission Cincinnati this #GivingTuesday! We'd love for every kid in our neighborhood to experience the life-transforming power of the Jesus who makes all things new.
Do you live in Cincinnati? Maybe you not only want to give, but you have kids who'd like to experience this Jesus who helped Demetrius and Elijah reconcile! You're invited to join us each Sunday at 10 AM at the Evanston Recreation Center (3204 Woodburn Ave. 45207) for worship at The Mission Cincinnati! Mission Kids ministry is offered each week for children ages 0-10.
We are always looking for more people who are passionate about loving our children and sharing Jesus with them. If you are interested in helping with Mission Kids or if you just have questions about our ministry or our church, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can’t wait to hear from you and meet you one Sunday!