Confession #16: The Emmaus Youth Need Wisdom, Part 1
GUEST POST BY TANYA PIRTLE, EMMAUS HOUSE BOARD MEMBER
The stage in life the Emmaus Youth are in is critical. Scary, really. So many life-changing decisions are made during these years. At this stage, there is such potential to make poor choices based on emotions, immaturity, and insecurity. Many of us who have been around a bit longer have suffered consequences due to the poor decisions we made during our earlier years. All around us we see others (or we ourselves) living out the harsh realities that we have had to overcome owed to the poor choices we may have made during our youth. It hurts to watch it, or worse yet, to live it.
Taking examples from your own life, what lessons would you want to pass on to the Emmaus Youth if you had the chance? If you only had a few paragraphs to share with them, what would you say? The mother of King Lemuel in Proverbs 31 did just that.
Let’s take a minute and look within the pages of our Bibles at the wisdom of a loving mother to her son. Everyone knows of the notorious and sometimes intimidating Proverbs 31 woman found in Proverbs 31:10-31. This mother paints a picture for this young king of the woman she would recommend to be his wife. Many a woman has spent years trying to live up to the standards set in this passage. Yes, this wise mother is teaching her son, King Lemuel, what to look for in a wife. However, something that gets lost so many times in this passage is the first nine verses where she gives her son principles to live out his life. From the advice she gives him, we can tell he is young and on the precipice of making some serious decisions about how he will choose to live. Who will he marry? Will he exercise discipline and self-control in his life? Will he rule with justice and help others? These are the same life-altering decisions the youth of Emmaus House are going to make in the next few years of their life. They need wisdom and Godly guidance just as much as King Lemuel did.
From Proverbs 31:1-9, I see 4 main points of wisdom this wise mother was trying to teach her son. These same points we, the leadership of Emmaus, are striving to teach the youth as they begin embarking on making major decisions that will affect them the rest of their lives
1. Godly teaching
2. Love and relationships
In verse 1, King Lemuel writes that this is the “oracle his mother taught him.” This mother very deliberately, took the time to teach her son the things of God. She didn’t just expect him to get these insights from time spent in “bible class” or “church.” Bible teaching is straightforward, deliberate, and does not come through osmosis. Youth need people to take the time to give them deliberate, foundational, consistent, Godly teaching. We all do.
So many times when kids hit 18, we expect them to know how to live. After all, we have been teaching them how to live their whole lives. They should know by now, right? This powerful young man who had all the responsibilities of being king still needed the Godly teachings of his mother. These years of life altering decision-making are not the time to throw these kids in the water and hope they already know how to swim.
At Emmaus House, Bible classes, devotionals, and spiritual training will be a part of everyday life. Our Haitian board and staff have proven themselves to be true to teaching the gospel in Haiti for years. Jonathan Raphael, our house parent, is a graduate of the preaching school in Cap Haitien. He has been showing an interest in these kids’ spiritual well being for quite some time by acting as a spiritual mentor, leading their regular devotionals at Cap Haitien Children’s Home. Read about some of the difference he has already made with these kids HERE.
Moise Touissaint was intentionally chosen to be on our Haitian board as he and his wife Altagrace have been involved in CHCH for years. He is the preacher at the congregation where the kids have been worshipping for the last couple of years. This will be the congregation they will be involved in and learning service to others during their time at Emmaus. He has been involved in spreading the gospel in Haiti for the last 15 years. Moise has recently taken the time voluntarily to mentor a past resident of CHCH, helping him grow spiritually and get back on his feet. Moise is looking forward to helping the Emmaus Youth grow.
Another Haitian board member is Murielle Fonrose. She has been the principal for the school at the CHCH for the past 22 years. She is married to Fonrose Teogene who is one of the directors of the CBT (a preaching school outside of Cap Haitien) and the preacher at Kadouch. Fonrose is constantly busy in spreading the gospel and helping others in Haiti. Mureille is ready to serve and do what is needed to be done to help teach and spiritually prepare the Emmaus Youth for their futures.
The staff and board of Emmaus are fervent about making sure these kids are equipped with the full armor of God as they stand firm against the schemes of the devil. We don’t expect these youth to go out into the world of Haiti without having an intimate knowledge of the word of God giving them hope and strength. Just like King Lemuel’s mother, we have a vision to be very intentional with teaching the Emmaus Youth to not only grow in their own knowledge of the word, but train them to share it with others. Prayerfully this will guide them in avoiding many of the pitfalls that can come their way as they embark on this formative stage of life.
What lessons would you like to pass on to the Emmaus Youth? Like King Lemuel in Proverbs 31, if you only had a few paragraphs, what wisdom would you pass down to them based on your life experiences?
~ Tanya Pirtle , Emmaus House Board Member