Copied from Facebook with Nathanael Kuechenberg’s permission,
I get to work at 11 p.m.
“Layla tov, Nathanael,” greeted me a 15-year-old boy at my job.
I had just arrived at work and wasn’t expecting to hear Hebrew coming from these “gangster” type teenagers. I really thought the only words they were capable of remembering were the f-word and s-word with only a few super rare exceptions. Well, it turns out that Hebrew is one of those exceptions, at least for the phrase “Layla tov.”
“Layla tov,” I replied, “Goodnight in Hebrew, or Guten Nacht in German!”
I had taught these boys the phrase “Layla tov” the night before. I was surprised to hear how the one boy remembered it and even greeted me in Hebrew at 11 p.m. The other boy (a relative of the first) said he had forgotten the expression but was pleasantly reminded and repeated, “Layla tov!”
This short story is just one example of how I can be pleasantly surprised when I show up at work to supervise kids aged 10 to 17 in the local state detention facility.
In the world in which we live, the importance for godly men to keep a high moral is not always realized and seldom given the credit which it deserves. The reason why a moral standard is so important is because the lack thereof is what causes the depravity which is predominate in the secular culture. All evil is causes by the absence of godly men in positions of authority.
Without a father, no matter if it’s a black kid’s house or a white kid’s house, the immorality is outrageous! Kids are living lives as if they were brought up in Sodom and Gomorrah in present day America. To God Almighty, this is an abomination! As the Body of Christ, we need to make a stand and do something meaningful to prevent this massive immorality and help share the love of Christ as well as the wrath of God.
Here is an example. I will leave the kids anonymous but will give a few real-life cases.
One boy was arrested for stealing a car. When I asked him if he ever was told about the Ten Commandments or that stealing was a sin in the Bible, he replied, “No, no one ever told me that.” The kid was only 13 and in this case his nationality is Caucasian. Before he was sent off, I had spent quite a few hours over many days talking to him about the moral principles of sexual purity, honesty, etc. I explained how God explicitly gave us 10 Commandments to follow and how they are the measure from which we will be judged. I explained how marriage is between a man and a woman, and how sex is after marriage and not before. This young man was only 13 years old and was not only a sinner from stealing a car at this young age, but he had many other perverted practices as well, but I will not mention them.
Another boy was caught stealing a van with some buddies. This kid is black / mixed race. He is also 13 years old. He was caught stealing a van and was placed at my detention facility for me and my coworkers to “babysit” until he either gets released or sent off to prison. This same young man is one of the ones whom I was teaching a few words in Hebrew, like “Layla tov.” Later on, I discovered that his great grandpa’s father was a red-haired Jew. So, even though the boy is mostly black African, he also is Jewish by nationality as well. So, what do you know! That’s probably why he was so attached to the Hebrew words.
A few days ago, I even taught him how to obey commands given in Hebrew. I said, “Lekh le’kheder shelkha!” (get to your bedroom). He immediately obeyed the Hebrew as if he was playing a game.
“Layla tov,” he replied, “Good night, Nathanael!”
“Good night as well,” I relied, “Layla tov.”
Interesting enough this young man really is Jewish, being mixed racial.
Stories like this are common at the state detention facility. But what is crazy is that usually the reason for being caught up in the detention facility is not the biggest of their sins or sinful lifestyle. Immorality is extremely common amongst these particular gangs and secular teenagers. Even kids as young as 8 or 9 or 10 years old are having sexual relationships with each other. The US law does absolutely nothing to stop this from happening. In our Christian nation, we left the morality of sexual relations up to the family. But with the absence of morality in the family, the sins which are allowed are extreme. Even though I agree that the law is not the answer to the sinful nature of humans, I do believe that this particular problem could be at least mitigated if men stood up for morality and godly principles.
I am constantly shocked to hear about teenagers just having sex with whoever they want, whenever, for however long. Many teenagers are telling me that they are not prohibited by any parental figures in the household. Kids are showering together, sleeping together, smoking pot together, and most horrifically having sexual relationships together BEFORE they are even old enough to drive a car or work a job.
WHY I CANNOT RELATE:
Perhaps many people will not be shocked or horrified like myself. I have to realize that I grew up in another world entirely. I grew up in a world where none of this would ever happen. In my small world of being home schooled and living out in the country, sexual perverted actions didn’t even cross my mind. Why? Maybe because I didn’t grow up with the internet. My parents refused to have internet at our house and even ditched the TV.
With the lack of a TV and internet, I was free to be a kid. I was free to play out in the woods. I pretended to be Legolas or Aragorn or Frodo or Prince Caspian. I played with my brothers and sisters and few friends which my parents gave approval of. In my entire childhood years from at least birth to 17-years-old, I was completely protected from any types of negative influence. I believe this was a good thing, a very good thing. I remember the first time I heard the f-word was when I was 17-years-old. I believe I read it on Facebook. Before then, I didn’t even have a Facebook account and didn’t have a cell phone or anything like that. Even though my story is only familiar to other home schooled kids who were raised the same way, my story of being sheltered is definitely common amongst home schoolers. I personally believe that my language capabilities would not be the same if I was not given this solace and quietness for study time.
What I find very shocking is that many parents are TOTALLY fine with their kids living in Sodom and Gomorrah like it’s not a big deal. Well, for me, it’s a very big deal. It’s horrifying to imagine people being this immoral.
Simultaneously, I do not feel any hard feelings against people like this, but instead I feel compassion and a true desire to help them out. These kids were not given a proper chance to know what is Right from what is Wrong. They were led astray from parents and grandparents who are telling them it’s okay to have sex before marriage. They are telling them that stealing is okay and that gun violence is not a big deal. Even some of the 13-year-old boys have related to me stories of how their grandpa is the one providing the guns. What type of grandpa is giving a 13-year-old a gun? Is this for self-defense? Probably. But simultaneously, how can a 13-year-old be told that he’s free to smoke pot, carry a handgun, and have sex with his girlfriend when he’s not even old enough to drive a car? This seems insane. But in the gang world, it’s practically normal (at least from the cases I have experienced around town).
MORE STAFF NEEDED BECAUSE OF COVID:
Due to COVID-19 the staff is dwindled badly. Good news! No more masks at work. WE are free to be without a vaccine and no masks. Yippy!
Now I know that the above storyline probably does not make for an ideal commercial about my job, but it’s something that is realistic of what the job entails…. Drama, chaos, immorality, craziness, etc. What a job! I doubt that too many people are interested in working my job as a Youth Care Worker for these kids, just because of how bad they are. But then again, from my end, I do not see them as wicked or evil necessarily. I view them as regular kids who just didn’t have the same chance that I had growing up. Some of the kids have had family and friends who were shot by gangs. Most of the kids were traumatized. Then they end up becoming who they are at the moment. But simultaneously, if they were given the same childhood as I was given, I am sure that many of them would be studying Greek and Latin even beyond my own skill level. But without the opportunity, how can they succeed? One boy wants to be a zoologist and work for a zoo when he’s older. At the rate he’s going, this is hard to think will ever happen. But how could someone who was traumatized as a kid, raised without morals, and suffers from anger and abuse end up becoming a zoologist as an adult? Perhaps with God all things are possible.
For the night shift, right now, I am the only male Youth Care Worker. I work with the boys’ side 5 nights a week. The other two nights, one of the female staff supervises the boys’ side. I asked the boys to give me an answer for this question.
I asked, “Would you feel more comfortable with male or female staff to supervise you guys for the night shift?”
They all agreed, “Definitely male staff.”
I asked why.
They said, “Female staff is just a bit creepy.”
In the Bhagavad Gita, chapter 2, verse 69, it reads: “What is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self-controlled, and the time of awakening for all beings is night for the introspective sage.” Even though I come from a Christian worldview, this Hindu text is perfect for anyone who is working night shift and is a deep thinker and student of theology.
I’m putting this message out there to show you how the boys feel about their own experiences. Even though I have worked on the girls’ unit, the boys are definitely where I feel the most comfortable myself. It only makes sense. Even girls who have had abusive backgrounds usually are comfortable with me supervising 3rd shift.
I had one girl tell me, “I don’t want to have any male staff period to be on the girls’ side because of my background.” I asked her, “What about me?” And she replied, “Well, you are different. I don’t see you as the same thing, so I don’t want any male staff besides you.” Typically, this was the feedback that I would get from the girls’ unit, but then again, for the past 4 months I have only worked the boys’ side and do feel like it’s a better fit.
What I find odd is that overall, it’s very rare to find male staff for a place like this, especially for the night shift. Right now, we have only 4 male staff including myself for all shifts combined. All the rest are females. And for me, I’m the only fulltime male on the 3rd shift, but there is one retired schoolteacher who comes in ever so often as a side job. At least from what I hear, the common fear is that unless carefully weeded out the organization might end up with some type of sexual predators. With the secular world being like Sodom and Gomorrah, I can’t blame them for being careful. They have an interview processes and require 2 letters of recommendation. For someone like myself who was raised in a homeschooling family, was able to provide two letters of recommendation, and have had experience with co-leading a Church Youth Group, I was welcomed in immediately and offered the job. But simultaneously, what I find is that very few men are even applying to work here. Apparently, from a secular background, with the lack of morals, the job doesn’t even sound like a valid possibility. But from a Christian perspective, I cannot find any valid reason for why an adult male would not want to work at a place like this.
The secular fear shouldn’t keep Christian men from applying to work for a state detention facility like this. From a moral standing point, there’s nothing to be concerned about. The facility has cameras and doesn’t allow any types of monkey business on the campus. So, as long as the adult is capable of handling this very small requirement, the job is not difficult to master. My job is usually sitting around doing homework at a table, but when I do talk with the kids, I usually talk about academic things and even tell Bible stories. I have told the story of Noah’s Ark, Sodom and Gomorrah, and several other NT stories quite a few times. The pictures and video footage of Ron Wyatt’s research also helps me out to give the kids a great visual to combine with the stories.
So, if any young adult men (21+) in the local area are interested in applying for a job, feel free to reach out to me and I will give you more details. What I would like to see is more Godly men reach out to kids like this. It’s a perfect opportunity to share the Salvation message of Christ, even though it must be done tactically. For 3rd shift, it’s perfect because no one is standing over your shoulders and telling you what you can or cannot tell the kids. I’ve literally spent hours talking with kids individually, some of whom were biblically illiterate and didn’t have a clue who Abraham was, let alone Jesus Christ.
Matthew 25:36 state, “I was in prison and you visited Me.”
I believe that this is the Gospel message and what we need to occupy ourselves well doing.
In Luke 19:13, the master of the parable says, “Occupy till I come.”
Back to the parable of the Sheep and the Goats, Jesus told the reply of the king when they asked when they did any of these things to him.
“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
I find that this is the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. If we can join together as the Body of Messiah and get into places of authority like where I am as a Youth Care Taker for the state detention facility, I believe that we can do a very meaningful task fulfilling the words of Christ. Not everyone will be Youth Care Workers of course, but since that’s my job, I want to make sure to get the word out that it’s an important job and also something that is very respectable in the Kingdom of God.
I should note that really for either a Muslim, Jew, Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist religious belief system, this same method of attaining jobs of authority to bring moral principles should apply. Even though I am not a universalist and have my own unique take on how the world religions fit together, I do believe that the similarity of morals should be used to draw the unbelieving world to a similar value system.