1. OUR READERS
We have received tons of mail from kids all over the United States. Some are submissions, but many are letters thanking us for FREESYLE (formally FRUIT. magazine) and sharing how hit has helped them. Some of them are just asking for prayer, advice, or just simply want to share their stories. The response has been incredible.
One young man wrote us that while he was locked up another kid in his unit gave him a copy of the magazine (in this facility we have only been able to provide 1/3 of the population with a copy of the magazine). The kid shared that he was so far away from God and had such a hard time growing up that he tore up the magazine and threw it in the trash. THEN that night when he went to his bunk, sitting on his desk was another copy of FRUIT magazine. He said he stayed up all night just thinking about it and finally decided to give it a shot and read it. He shared that he is glad he did because now he is a soldier for Christ and has started attending Bible studies. He finished by encouraging other kids to make the decision to follow Jesus and thanking us for the magazine.
2. ADULT INMATES
God is not only using FREESTYLE (formally FRUIT. magazine) to minister to youth, He's also using it to give hope to adult inmates. We get a lot of letters from inmates requesting a copy of our magazine. The magazine manages to get passed around to different prisons. One recent testimony we received was about a man who had received a copy of Issue 10 with Pyrexx on the cover. In the article we discussed how people don’t have to look a certain way to be a Christian – how Pyrexx can minister to a whole group of people some Christians may not be able to reach. He’d never heard that before and always thought he couldn’t be a Christian because of his past and how he looked. God used Issue 10 to open his eyes and he became a Christian.
3. JUVENILE FACILITIES
All of the facilities we have worked with love FREESTYLE (formally FRUIT. Magazine). We’ve even had to remind staff that the magazines are for the kids. Perhaps the best testimony I can give to show how the facilities themselves value of the magazine is to share that several sponsor the facilities themselves for the youth they serve. That is HUGE! We even have heard of kids starting their own Bible studies in the facilities using FREESTYLE.
4. OTHER MINISTRIES
The ministries we work with such as Youth For Christ, Eyes On Me, and Free The Captives all have stories of how FREESTYLE (formally FRUIT. magazine) has helped the kids they serve or how we have helped to share the mission of their organizations with our readers. One example I have is from James Odom, Executive Director of Alternative Behavior and Gang educator. While he was working with youth in Harris County's gang unit, he met a young man who wouldn't open up and talk to him. He was very deep into the gang lifestyle. James tried different ways to engage this young man, then brought a magazine with him one day and asked the young man if he'd ever read one. The young man responded, “Yeah, I’ve read that – that’s real... they know.” James then shared that he was the author of the Gangs 2 Glory column. After that the kid opened up and was completely different toward him. Several Youth For Christ facilities in different states order copies of FREESTYLE regularly.