James sat begrudgingly in the empty classroom, eyeing suspiciously the mentor in the black Krunch polo-shirt sat opposite him.
James knew why the mentor was here. You can’t behave the way he had in school recently and not expect some kind of intervention. It was either this or exclusion. It didn’t mean he liked it though. He’d just have to endure the next 12 weeks, “play the game” and then it would be over.
Luckily the Krunch mentor in question, Craig, had worked with many teenagers like James before and was not put off by James’ obvious hostility and resistance. Little by little, as they worked through the structured mentoring programme together, James began to open up and explore the roots of his anger. He found himself looking forward to the weekly mentoring sessions with Craig, building a genuine bond with him which helped James to open up about his past and how it may be impacting his behaviour in school.
During his journeys to and from James’ school each week, Craig would pray for James. He would pray for his well-being. He would pray for his future. He would pray for his safety. He would pray for his salvation. He never told James about his prayers. The Krunch mentoring programme was not designed for mentors to share their faith but to simply help young people understand the roots of their behaviour and teach them how to tackle it themselves. But James knew that Craig was a Christian. Everyone at school knew that Krunch was run by Christians. And the more time James spent in Craig’s company, being listened to, supported and encouraged, the more fascinated he became by Craig’s relationship with Jesus.
At the end of the 12 week mentoring programme, James was sorry that his sessions with Craig would have to end. He asked if he could keep in touch via email to update Craig of his progress.
A few weeks later, Craig received an email to his Krunch account. It was from James and read, as follows:
I googled ‘how do I become a Christian’ last night. I said that prayer thingy. I’ve been reading the Bible 4-5 hours a day. Is that enough?