I want out
March 29, 2009 2:12 pm
I live in Atlanta. Here is a story about a kid in my neighborhood.
One of the kids that I have become friends with told me that he wanted out of the gang he was in. He has been in the gang since around the 4th grade, is now about to be 17 and is tired of this lifestyle. He has to do what the gang does or he himself will become a victim. There are 2 ways out of a gang he recently told me, a) get jumped and beat out b) get killed . The other option, is to run, move away if you have a place to go and not come back. We try to touch base daily and our goal is just to survive for another 24 hours, one day at a time. I see him around wearing the gangs colors when he is out because he is a slave to the colors he represents. He also can't tell anyone his desire to leave the gang because of what might happen to him. Everything here is working against him and others like him who want something different, peer pressure here can get you in serious trouble. In the past week, I have personally witnessed 2 groups of teens attempt or actually steal a car. One night, the oldest was 14 and they attempted to steal a car 3 houses down from me. Yesterday, I witnessed a car chase on my street where 5 kids stole an SUV and were caught. Both groups were let go with a warning. Their parent/parents were not contacted and will never know what they had just done. I talked with one of the commanding officers in my zone and he said to me " I talked to a mother the other day about this very thing and her reply was, I have 7 kids; he is old enough to know better. What do you want me to do? He was 13 years old. Most people I know keep to themselves and hope that the government will show up and fix the problem while complaining about all of the trouble. We are the solution. The people on the street. We have to engage the culture around us and make a difference where we are at. I have gone through a transformation over the past year. Before I moved 95% of my encounters were with believers. Now I would say its totally opposite. The time I spend with believers now is important to recharge my soul and remind me that that I need other believers more than ever. The streets are teaching me that my new friends need Christ more than ever. There is no place I would rather live. There are days when I don't want to look out my front door and break up another fight or worse but, I like the hood it makes me feel alive. We all face different challenges in different cities at different churches, but we are the body of Christ and we can make a difference.