Warning: If you don't want to read of tragedy, do not continue!
In the early hours of Tuesday the 19th of May, a 15-year-old was found bleeding from stab wounds in the community of Bagot, Darwin. He later died in hospital. Two boys, also aged 15, were arrested and are now in remand at Don Dale Juvenile Detention Centre.
Did you hear about this on the news? I very much doubt it. It only grabbed my attention because I happened to have the ABC National News channel on for a few moments that day. I’ve spent time doing ministry in that very community, I have good friends doing ministry in that very community and our Darwin team will have the opportunity to minister to the young people who are involved. I also later found out that dear friends of mine were working very closely with the young men now in remand - young men with so much potential for a bright future.
My question…why is this not headline news across the nation? This is just another very tragic example of the battle that is raging for our lost boys, especially for our lost Indigenous boys; a battle that the enemy wouldn’t want us to focus on. But more than ever we need to focus on what the enemy is targeting so we can see the lost boys come home!
Upon reflection on this tragedy, God reminded me that there were a lot of people who committed murder in the Bible. People who ended up being used mightily of God for His redemptive purposes (think Moses (Ex 2:11-15) and David (2 Sam 11)). I’m believing that God can turn this tragic situation for good and bring redemption to many as a result.
This week is National Reconciliation Week (NRW) in Australia. NRW actually started as the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation in 1993 (the International Year of the World's Indigenous Peoples) and was supported by Australia’s major faith communities. We don’t hear so much about the prayer aspect of this week anymore, but it is a very crucial part to seeing true reconciliation in this nation - reconciliation that sees us first of all reconciled to God through His forgiveness (2 Corinthians 5:11-21) which means that we can then be reconciled with those who we may have had grievance with. This goes not only for reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous, but between all people.
Will you join with me this week, and even the whole of this month, to pray specifically for our Indigenous youth?* I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to see breakthrough in this area! Keep persevering in prayer. Our God is faithful.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 2 Cor 5:17-20 NIV
*Earlier this year, YFC's first week of prayer and fasting for Lost Boys was focused on Indigenous boys and you may like to use the devotional for that week to help guide you in your prayers.