And the two disciples heard Him speak, and they followed Jesus. John 1:37 (KJV)
Rodgerick talks about growing up in “church” and “hearing about Jesus” but not really “knowing” Jesus. “I started hanging around a bad crowd, stopped paying attention in school and stopped going to church.” The tall, polite 8th grader at Airways Middle School then talks about getting connected with Coach Marcus Jones when he was in the 6th grade.
“I had heard this and this about Jesus, but I needed to find out for myself.”
He talks of asking more and more questions as he was being discipled by Jones. “I wanted to be like him and needed to follow him. He was the one who told me about MAM. But when I got here, I did not see much of him, but Coach Josh…”
But Coach Josh.
“We do one-on-ones, pray together and talk about everything. I like the Bible studies, the gym, and I get help from all the staff.”
Rod goes on to explain the scripture that means most to him now: Romans 6:23. He talks of his understanding of salvation, repentance and the love of God.
“Coach Josh says none of us are perfect, and when we do sin we can go to God and repent and He will forgive us.”
Rod plays basketball, runs track and plays football and baseball. He has two sisters, and states he wants to grow in the Lord, finish school and get a scholarship to go to college, and help his Mother live more comfortably.
Mentoring other youth like himself is also a goal in his life.
“Coach Josh took us to MAM Greenlaw, and we helped feed the homeless. I asked one of the men what happened to make him get in that predicament. He said it was mainly his not doing well in school.” Rod says he told this man that it was not too late to do school and more importantly, to know God. “He said he was going to go to church.”