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Church Reaches Out to an Inner-City Football Team

Faith Inspirational Missionary Baptist Church has adopted its local high school, the roughest in a rough city. Forty percent of the students at Centennial High School in Compton, California, are from either a group home or foster home. Such students don't have any adult who will cheer for their football team. When two of the Faith Inspirational members volunteered to help coach the football team, they were appalled at the state of the locker rooms, so they organized their church to refurbish and paint them.

One of the young men on the football team, who was required to help in the project, turned to the lady next to him and asked her why she was painting his locker room. The Faith Inspirational member simply replied, "Because I love you."

"No one loves me," was his skeptical response.

At that, the woman set down her paintbrush and went over to the young man and hugged him.

"No one has hugged me in seven years," he replied, not knowing exactly what to do with this woman. But she wasn't done yet. She called over a dozen other women, and they lined up to hug this young man, to kiss him on his cheek, to tell him how special he was to God, and that he had a destiny. The young man just wept and wept.

After that open door, Pastor Rafer Owens, who is also a police officer in Compton, started lining up 15 adults to adopt each football player and to go to their games to cheer for them, so that they can each know how special they are to God.

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