wilmer's dad left when he was little. when he was 7, he started working in the fields. by 11 years old, he was working a full time job after school, coming home around 8:00 at night.
when i met him about 5 years ago, wilmer was a depressed kid. his emotions were all over the place. even after entering the boys academy, he remained unstable. its been a process to say the least. he has wanted to quit several times. we've had countless meetings with him and his mom. helped in as many ways as possible.
for a while now, God has been luring Wilmer in. not long ago, he accepted Christ, and last Sunday he was baptized. it was a sweet moment for sure, and an example of true conversion. there is no doubt that with Christ, wilmer is a completely different person.
last night, with some friends in town from journey church jacksonville, wilmer shared his testimony. he shared all of the pain of his childhood and the difficulties growing up. then about all he has learned at the academy, and how his life has changed.
but my favorite part was when he said that he is teaching his brothers, sisters, and mom everything that he is learning at the academy. he finished by saying "everyone in my family is changing."
that stretches our vision even further than originally dreamed for. from the beginning, we've prayed that the cycles of abuse addiction, absence, etc, would stop with the rhinos. that they would grow up, start a family, and build a different home.
but wilmer is not only going to change his future family. at 16 years old, God is using him to change his current one as well.