Saturday, June 25, 2005

This is FUNNY

From New York Newsday (o6/25/05):

As Jeremy Del Rio tries to fire up kids to come Saturday night to a special "Youth Night" for the Greater New York Billy Graham Crusade, he's accustomed to blank stares. "For most of the kids I serve, Billy Graham is 'Superstar Billy Graham,' the wrestling icon," said the East Village youth counselor who is co-chairman of the crusade's youth committee. "But they don't know who Billy Graham the preacher is," said Del Rio, 30. "That's frankly one of the big challenges we've had to overcome." ... At Abounding Grace Church in the East Village, the pastor and youth director were beating the drum Thursday night to turn out their kids. The youth director, a thin young man wearing diamond studs in both ears, his right arm tattooed with "Jesus" and his left tattooed with a crown of thorns, was organizing a group subway trip to Flushing Meadows. "Hey, brother: Be here at 4 p.m. sharp!" commanded Jonathan Del Rio, who is Jeremy's younger brother.

Many of his charges nodded their assent. "I'm definitely going," said Amanda De Jesus, 15, of Brighton, Brooklyn. "I didn't know a lot about Reverend Graham, to be honest, because he's before my time," she said. "But I've heard a lot about him in the last few months, and I'm very inspired by his determination to come here. "Eric Velez, 15, from the Jacob Riis Houses a few blocks away, said he was on board, too. "To be honest, I didn't know who he was before this," Velez said. "Or I would have thought he was one of these guys on television who hold their Bibles in their hand and say, 'You must be saved or you'll go to hell.'" But Velez said he's been inspired by what he's learned of Graham's determination to help people all over the world. "I believe he's being used by God," he said. "And I'm thrilled to see what will happen this weekend and how New York may change as a result of his visit." A city like New York change? Is that possible? Velez grinned. "With God, anything is possible," he said.


At 6/25/2005 02:09:00 AM, Blogger Bob said...

VERY cool ending! So true. These are kids who don't remember the first President Bush, I'd guess, just because of their age if nothing else (at 15 years old, Bush would have left office when they were 2). People loose track of how quickly we age compared to young people.


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