Greg Wilkerson, Area Director – Chicagoland Area, IL
Two and a half years ago, I met James in front of a McDonald’s. He and a few guys were practicing for a drill team competition, and the Holy Spirit led me to ask them to perform at a men’s conference. James shared that when he was 18 he was incarcerated for over a year. He was on probation.
For the following year and a half, I took him to visit his parole officer and to his court appearances. James had a father at home, but their relationship was distant, and eventually, his father asked him to leave. James was homeless.
I remember Patrick Morley saying, “Your system is perfectly designed to produce the results that you are getting.” Many of our at-risk, young, African-American males are a result of a dysfunctional system. So we shouldn’t be surprised at what we are witnessing in cities like Chicago. The church should be the extended family to these young men. We see our brothers in distress; who can they go to for help if it’s not the church? I believe our love for God can be measured by our love for the person we love least.
After James had completed his probation, I encouraged him to participate in the Job Corp program. I see him on his free weekends, and he is currently doing well.
I always pray to God to heal where we are bleeding most profusely. Reaching men is the reason I am involved with Man in the Mirror. I saw this ministry as the catalyst for discipling men who will someday become the better fathers, husbands, and friends that Jesus Christ wants us to be. They need to see the hope in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.