By: Ken Schmidtke

Josh was one of those six graders that immediately grabbed your attention:  jovial, helpful and always eager to please!  Josh, however, faced challenging obstacles in his life.  Trouble at home caused him to live on the streets, bedding down from whatever friends’ couch was available. Conflict at school prevented him from excelling in class and developing meaningful friendships.  Yet with all of this turmoil he came to Campus Life initially because he was forced to by grandma, but eventually because he wanted to.

The Campus Life team came alongside Josh walking with him through all these difficulties to help him discover a spiritual component to his life.  Over the course of the next two years we discovered more hidden issues that he tried to keep covered.  The problems at home centered on his mom who gave little attention to Josh.  To compensate for the lack of family connection, Josh turned to gangs which increased his troubles.  Eventually grandma and grandpa intervened, bringing him to their home to live and provide sanctuary.

Josh’s life was spiritual chaos illustrated by the conditions in which he lived.  Yet over the course of our interaction with Josh, and as he established and developed a spiritual groundwork, the conditions of his life changed as well: forgiving his mom brought a restored relationship, submission to God’s desires disciplined him to acquire his GED and now he is entering college to pursue his vocational dream! 

The balanced life approach to ministry understands the interconnectedness of every area of life; each component relating to the others.  As with Josh, the spiritual condition of his life impacted the way he viewed his mom, how he treated authority, related to his peers and understood family.  Looking at Josh today you would have a hard time seeing him challenged in the way I described.  This is the work of spiritual transformation!


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