“Hey, why don't we ask for a weekend pass so we can go to that huge praise concert next Saturday?” Chad asked his friends.
“You know Mr. Neb doesn't allow us to go anywhere. Security follows us all the time....why don't they follow the other kids?” Mick said, chomping on his salad.
“Because we don't belong. We were brought here a few years back. Remember?” responded Benny with a tone of disgust.
“Oh, yeah”, Mick said, with an attitude. “ I remember, now. Mr. Dan told us not to worry; we would be adopted by a nice family.”
“Well, that was 10 years ago..we're almost eighteen. Nobody ever adopted us.”
“Stop worrying. One more year, and we'll be leaving. We've had excellent schooling and have received acceptances to several colleges. Most importantly, we have God,” Chad reminded them. “Now, let's finish planning for the concert. We'll take the train to the city, pick up the tickets, go to the concert, then return by 9pm.”
“OK, but getting the passes will be difficult,” Mick said, stroking his hair.
No, it won't. We're Christians and we have faith,” Chad said, defiantly.
Later, at bible study, Chad and Benny played the acoustic guitar and keyboards while Mick led the praise songs, followed by prayer and sharing the word with the new visitors.
One teen, named Jude, spoke up. “You know, everybody talks about you guys, with this bible and prayer stuff.”
Calmly, Chad replied, “Prayer and reading God's word is what we do. If there is a problem, somebody should tell us...officially.”
“You good, man...no problem. When's the next meeting?”
“Sunday at 11:00am, in the lounge. All are invited.”
“OK, me and my home-boy, will come. 11:00am on Sunday?”
That evening, Mr. Neb was finishing his wine, in the study, when he heard a knock.
His attendant announced, “ Sir, it's Jude and Cano at the door. You know, the boys....”
“Yes, I know. Let them in,” he said, impatiently.
“Hey, Mr. N, we just had bible study with the three guys you told us about. Church service is Sunday,” Cano happily shared.
“Thanks, I'll take it from here. Here's the 30 dollars each I promised you. Don't say a word,” shoving the money into their hands.
The next morning, Chad, Mick and Benny were awakened by a knock on the door. Each was told to report to Mr. Neb's office. Never before did he actually call them into his private office. So, they quickly dressed in a button down shirt, tie and slacks.
“How do we approach him about the passes?” said Mick as they entered the waiting area.
“Don't know, just be cool.” Chad gently told his friend.
“Let's say a quick prayer over by the coffee machine,” Benny whispered. “Nobody's there”.
Benny prayed, “Dear Lord, we honor and praise your holy name. Jesus, please be with us during this meeting. We know your Spirit lives in us and you promised never to leave or forsake us. Also, your word declares, a three-fold cord is not easily broken. So, we stand in agreement that your enemies will become your footstools, in the name of Jesus.”
“Gentleman, come in,” Mr. Neb said, smiling broadly.
“Have a seat. I understand you three spend much time in bible study and this God stuff. We don't do that around here. You've been warned before. Therefore, the board has decided to send you out-of-state to another facility. A place with more rules and better equipped for rebellious youth like yourselves,” he added with a smirk.
They said nothing.
“The transport bus will take you to Arizona and leaves in the morning. You'll enjoy the heat. Far away from your little fishing expedition.”
That night, they prayed and sent a text to Mr. Dan. He was the only one they trusted.
Waiting in the lobby the next morning, for the transport bus, Mr. Neb's assistant approached -- eyes red from crying. “What's wrong?” they asked.
“Mr. Neb had a heart attack last night and is in ICU. Everything's on hold. Please go back to your rooms. You're not leaving. Mr. Dan is taking over. You're to report to him directly, after school today, understand?”
They looked at each other and said nothing. In their hearts they understood and believed. Thank you, Jesus.
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