group responds to JaredStory.com -
An exchange of emails
with youth leader, Randy Brown
Jared's story tonight on the Internet. I work with teenagers in our church
youth group. Have worked with teens for 34 years.
I sat in a home at a kitchen table with three teens. They are all coming
to our "Catch-Fire" teen meeting tomorrow night at church! Would love to
know more about Jared so I can more effectively help other teens who may
be thinking the same thoughts. This summer I will speak in four different
youth camps to hundreds of teens. Any advice or warning you can give will
be greatly appreciated! I will faithfully pass it on to these kids. Thanks.
And my God's wonderful grace minister to your heart.
I'm so glad you have the opportunity
to have an impact in the lives of young people. You are doing a wonderful
work. This "Catch-Fire" teen meeting sounds great.
Jared was a kindly boy, loved
people and animals. He was a bit shy but not enough to prevent him
from flirting with some girls at school. He had a cute crooked smile
and would stand with one shoulder tilted downward. The thing that
changed him and caused his depression was an assault inside his middle
school by a well known bully. You can read about that at http://www.jaredstory.com/assault.html.
I think Jared lost his innocence on that day. He couldn't believe
someone would want to hurt him so violently. He had only known gentleness
until that day.
I think that if you could teach
your group about bullying and how it wounds children, even to the point
of suicide, you would be teaching them a very valuable thing. There
is a course, and book put out by Frank Peretti (a Christian writer) called
"The Wounded Spirit," that might make a good future topic of study for
your Catch-Fire group.
Another thought... Jared
never asked us for help, never told us he wanted to die. If you could
tell teenagers to talk to someone when they suspect they have depression
or some other illness, then that could save many lives. Depression
is like a fog coming over the brain, which causes the thoughts inside to
be trapped in sadness. If the teenager will just ask for help...
there are several natural herbs and medications that can help, along with
counseling or therapy. There are always people willing to help...
as you have made it your mission to do.
I wish you well. You
will make a difference and you will save many teenagers with your loving
advice. You may not see all the rewards here on earth but when you
meet your maker, God will say, "Well done, thou good
and faithful servant."
Much love from Brenda (Jared's
It is with a happy, happy heart
that I send you this note tonight (Wed. PM). Thank you so much for your
I was laying on our bed when my
wife Linda handed me your email. I had informed Linda about Jared's story
and I began reading the email out loud. When I got to the phrase "a cute
crooked smile..." my voice broke and I couldn't continue. I had to go outside
for a while. I decided then and there that Jared's death would make a difference
in the lives of our teenagers. It would not be in vain.
Tonight at "Catch-Fire" we had
45 teenagers present. Nine of them were first time visitors. We sang some
chorus', welcomed everyone visiting and then I began speaking to the kids
about teens who have taken their lives and how we must find teenagers who
are thinking the same thoughts and tell them of the love of Christ. I then
held up Jared's pictures with his cats. I had enlarged them to 8X10 size
so the kids could see Jared's beautiful face and expression. They sat absolutely
stunned as I told about Jared's experience with the bully and the tragic
results that occurred in his life. Not one teenager was talking or moving
around as I told Jared's story. Then-- I read your email response and your
advice to them. The room was absolutely silent.
The scriptures plainly say that
"all things work together for the good, to them who
love God Who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8.28)
Jared's death made a major impact on 45 teens tonight. Brenda, all eight
visiting teens and one adult woman accepted Jesus as their saviour! Many
of our teens were weeping! It was the most unusual moment I think I have
witnessed in 34 years of ministry with teenagers! They fell in love with
Jared tonight and their hearts are broken for you and your family.
One of the young ladies that accepted
Jesus tonight walked up to me after the service and turned over her left
arm. She has a 4-5 inch long scar going from her wrist to her forearm.
I said "Honey, is this what I think it is?" She said, "Yes, sir. Several
months ago I tried to kill myself. I'm so glad I came tonight!"
We all send you our love, prayers
and deepest affections. Keep telling Jared's story! I am convinced it will
continue to change many, many lives! Please keep me updated about any new
developments concerning Jared's story and the impact it is having on other
lives-- especially teenagers. God bless you, Brenda. We count you as our
dear friend. To 45 kids you are their hero.