On a hot summer day in 2016 there is not much to do besides get some buds together and go shoot hoops at the local rec center; but on this day God had more in store. As I picked one of our Campus Life students up to play a couple games of basketball he told me that some of his friends were going to be at the rec as well, but I could tell there was something he wasn’t telling me. Fast forward about 10 minutes as we were we were finding a parking spot Ryan leaned over and said “These guys we are about to play with are cool but one of them is a drug dealer; are you okay with that?” I told him “Of course I am” and we started to play four games of full court basketball in the 100 plus degree Alabama heat. Needless to say those guys wore me out and showed me how you play basketball in East Alabama.
After the games all six of us were sitting around talking about sports and life when one of the guys asked me “So what exactly is Campus Life anyways?” I started to tell him what all we do and ways to get involved. All the guys were excited about getting plugged except Malik. Malik looked at me and said ” Y’all don’t want my kind of people there.” I asked him, ” Why would you say that?” He replied, “Because I am a drug dealer.” I then told him, “You think that bothers me? God loves you bro and if he loves you then so do I.” He looked at me puzzled but also with a new perspective and said “No one has ever said that to me before.” After that we sat and talked about Jesus, the disciples, God’s plan for his life and ways he can get involved at Campus Life. Malik gave his life to Jesus at the end of that summer. We helped him plugged into a local church, came to all our Campus Life summer drop ins and events and has given up the drug dealer lifestyle. He is now living out the purpose that God has for his life and helping change his school for Christ! That is just one of the many stories of what God is doing through the ministry at East Alabama Youth for Christ.