He is up for parole in January, 2012. If he makes it he will be out close to Valentine’s Day. Though several months away, Paul is looking forward to being back in the community, getting a job, and helping with the youth program at his church and at PTM. Out of the blue, I received a letter from him this past week. He wrote, “I was on the right track as a young black male in the Preston Taylor neighborhood” (This is true. As a high school student, Paul would volunteer at PTM. He prepared snack, helped with reading, and helped us clean up. He helped also with activities at his church. We were totally surprised when he first was sent to juvenile detention, then tried, convicted, and sentenced to eight years as an adult for robbery). “I’m sorry Mr. Chan. Sorry it took so long to write you even though you probably forgot about me. ..I set the wrong example to the younger students in the program. ..I’m writing to tell you to tell the PTM youth who I am. Explain to the new ones how I made a bad choice to rob a store just because I was robbed. I should have got a job but was too mad and I made the wrong choice.” When people ask me what is the hardest part of my job, one of the first things I think of is the broken dreams–stories like Paul’s of a student who seems to have it together, but gives it up to fit in, or get even. But how rewarding it is when a student (sometimes many years later) is able to realize that God loves him, God has a purpose for his/her life, and that God’s grace is true. Will you pray for Paul as this truth sinks in and as God prepares him for a hopeful and joy-filled life.