Once a month we worship with the young men and women at the Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Center. Your participation matters to the residents, as the staff repeatedly tells us how we make a difference in the young men and women's lives and the lives of the staff!
On the fourth Sunday of each month Pender ministers to the youth lodged in the Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) through a program of Sunday afternoon worship. The JDC serves young men and women, ages 10 – 17. These young men and women are held before trial, and in some cases, after trial in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. The JDC also holds juveniles while awaiting transportation to the State Department of Juvenile Justice or other programs. Their offenses run the gambit from delinquent offenders with minor criminal records to youth charged with major crimes. Pender members join with these youth in worship including contemporary Christian music, a message, and prayer. Every fourth Sunday, we meet at the Center at 1 PM and are finished by 2:30 PM.
Reaching Out to Share Christ’s Love with Our Troubled Neighbors
They live in our neighborhoods, across our state. They look like kids we know. They look like kids our own kids hang out with. Some of them probably are. Some portion of their young lives has been spent living behind bars – incarcerated for criminal actions. For a great many of them, their young lives have been marred by violence that they’ve perpetrated, or that’s been brought upon them. For some, it’s both.
The young people behind the walls and the impact-resistant glass have made bad choices and big mistakes. They've gotten involved with the wrong friends, the wrong lovers, been in the wrong places at the wrong times. And done wrong things.
• More than 2.5 million juveniles are arrested every year in America and 70% of juveniles convicted of crimes go on to commit crimes again.
• 94% of incarcerated youth have never had one single positive adult male role model.
• 84% of the boys who become serious juvenile offenders have parents with criminal records.
These young people are more than just statistics. They're more than just names on a court docket. And they're more than just faces we'd rather look away from.
Sometimes they make people uncomfortable with their clothes and their language and their music. Sometimes it's easier to turn away from them than to serve them. But this is our world. And these, the least of these, are our collective responsibility.
Welcome to our mission field.
At Pender, we sincerely believe that Jesus Christ has a special place in His heart for these young people – the least, the last, the lost, the lonely.
As Christ’s hands and feet, we believe it’s our mission to demonstrate God’s redeeming Grace to young men and women who may have never heard the story of salvation before.
Both at the county and state levels, Pender members reach out to these troubled young people. We go behind the walls and meet face-to-face with them. We hear their stories. And we tell them ours. We talk about what Christ has done for us. And what He can do for them, if they let Him inside -- past their walls and their rough exteriors and their fear and their shame and their pride and their arrogance -- deep inside their hearts.For more info, contact Sean Niehoff.