Life Changing Stories

Unsung heroes 

 

Young Knights mentors don’t take the place of a boy's dad - or his mom. Mentors can be helpful guides in the journey of Turning Boys into Great Men, but for many of the young men in our program, their moms are the real heroes.

There are single, divorced and widowed moms doing everything they can to keep their boys safe, provide for their needs and point them in the right direction.  These moms pray for their boys to make it home safe, do well in school and avoid being sucked into the gangs that rule their neighborhoods. Some hold down multiple jobs as they struggle to make ends meet – to put food on the table and a roof over their heads.  Others wrestle with their own past, pain, addiction, brokenness and loss.

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Young Knights is about Turning Boys into Great Men, men who honor and obey their mothers and treat them with respect and kindness.  Without these moms, many of these boys would be truly lost.

Moms, thanks for all you do for your boys and in support of Young Knights! You are appreciated and loved! 


The power of love 

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Sometimes we wonder if a connection is really taking place between our mentors and the boys. The truth is that a lot of barriers have to be broken down for a relationship to be built between a kid from the south side of Chicago and an ol’ white guy from the burbs!

Recently, just as we were ready to reassign two of the boys a new mentor, they set us straight. The boys told us how much they appreciated the time and acceptance of their mentor. They knew he was real and it didn’t matter that he was old and couldn’t play basketball!

Love expressed in giving yourself and your unconditional acceptance breaks down walls! For boys who often experience too little of this from men in their lives, it makes a huge difference. We are grateful for Young Knight mentors who freely share with these young men the very heart and power of the Gospel: LOVE! 


SEEING POLICE IN A NEW LIGHT

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“Cops are bad!"
“Have you ever met a cop?”
“No.  I don’t want to get shot.”

The relationship between police and young black men in Chicago is strained.  This boy's perspective on police goes unchallenged and is frequently reinforced by the growing frequency of violence in his community.  

Pastor James arranged for Young Knights to meet a white police officer.  The positive interaction challenged the boys’ view of police officers and helped them overcome their fears.  The experience is the beginning for some of them in building trust and respecting those in authority. 


how to treat a WOmen

Boys from fatherless homes have few examples of what a godly relationship with a woman looks like.  A Young Knights' mentor and his wife of over 30 years shared from their experiences and understanding of the biblical foundations for treating women with love and honor. 

The young men were challenged to reject society’s portrayal of women as objects to be used and exploited. Instead, they were taught God’s view of women, as those created in His image and co-heirs of God’s Kingdom.  This biblical perspective, as well the acknowledgement of God strategically placing significant women in their lives (such as their mothers and teachers) was used to encourage the young men to honor and respect women with their words and their actions.