From Mourning to Joy

February 6, 2019


It was ten minutes before the tip-off at a high school basketball game when I got the text message. “I just need somebody to talk to,” from an 18-year old male student. I asked where he was, and “Tristan” sent me his address. I started down the country road and pulled up to where he was staying. As I drove up the muddy driveway I was surrounded by what could only be described as a junkyard. Tristan came out to meet me as I pulled up, the 30 degree wind blowing against us in the absolute darkness. He proceeded to show me where he’d been staying for the last month. A shed. A shed with a swinging broken padlocked door, a grease covered cement floor, a small dirty mattress, and a well worn duffle bag with some clothes flung in and around it.

To say we left quickly would be an understatement. Tristan jumped into my car and while we had a bite to eat at Subway, and he told me the lengthy and really discouraging story of events which had led to his current situation. It was mostly tragic, but there were also a number of instances where he entirely blamed other people for things he was somewhat at fault for as well. Not only was there a need for God to intervene in this student’s life for safety and security, but there also needed to be some heart-changing decisions made by Tristan as well.

We drove over to a local church, sat in the front row of the sanctuary and prayed to God together, while the organ player practiced her Christmas hymns for the upcoming Sunday. That night he made some life-changing decisions and prayers have been answered through some of his miraculous friends who opened their homes to support him.

There were a lot of tears that night, and there was a lot of anger and confusion. I can now say God has intervened in the situation and weeks later I can quote Psalm 30:11 as true in the story of this student, “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing, you have removed my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.”

I’m praising God for what He did in Tristan’s life, and I am full of anticipation for how this young man’s story will unfold as God continues to work in his life.


Brandon Johnson, Campus Life Director