A co-worker and I went to court in Warrensburg, Missouri last Monday to witness on behalf of a client, currently in our Christian Life Program. We sat through all the court cases only to find out that my client, whom we were there for, was being held over until the following week to see a different judge. At that time, we didn’t see the purpose in the time spent traveling and waiting in court, all for nothing.
This Monday we made the trip again to Warrensburg for the same client as the week before. As we sat there waiting for court to start late and then go long, with my guy being next to the last person to be called before the judge, we witnessed and ministered to another young man. The judge was tired of this 23 year old drug addict and was ready to send him to prison. The young man, named Anthony, told the judge that he would see about checking into a 21-day program. The judge told him that wasn't good enough; he needed more help than that.
The Public Defender representing Anthony remembered me from the week before. She turned and made eye contact with me and raised her eyebrows. I knew what she was considering and I smiled back at her in affirmation.
As the Judge asked Anthony to sit aside for a while, the Public Defender came to ask me if he would be a candidate for our program. I said, "Yes, I'll take him back with me today". She repeated me to make sure what I had offered. Excited about the alternative, she spoke to the Judge, who then called me up to explain our program. As soon as I told her it was an in-house, 12-14 month program, the Judge said to offer it to Anthony. The Judge said that she knew of City Union Mission and even made the comment that "we need one of these in Cass County"! Anthony was hesitant, as he was fully expecting to have to go to jail.
When it came time for me to speak on behalf of my own guy, the Judge, the Public Defender and I were all advocating for him. This was truly an act of God! It was beautiful!
Needless to say, we came back to Kansas City with two guys, when we had gone for only one. Today Anthony thanked me. He knew without us being there for him that day, he would be spending the next 7 years in jail.
God had a plan. He knew that we needed to be in Warrensburg THIS Monday, for THIS purpose.
(Submitted by Pat Johnson, Case Manager at City Union Mission’s Christian Life Program)