A Message from Ken Turner, Founder of High Impact Teens
I lead a youth outreach called High Impact Teens and we are involved in several juvenile centers here in Tennessee. I’ve worked closely with Misty Neeley, the State Executive Director of the Office of Juvenile Justice, to keep our network of ministry partners informed of the needs of our youth across the state. We are currently working with volunteers at Mountain View YDC in Dandridge, Stones River Academy in Nashville and Wilder YDC in Memphis.
I wanted to reach out to introduce myself to you and let you know we are available to help as needs arise. We have a few ways we are currently trying to help our youth in juvenile facilities.
1. We have approximately 1,000 Christmas cards with envelopes available if youth who are detained would like to send a card to a loved one this Christmas. I’d be glad to mail a supply to the facilities who need them.
2. We have Bibles and devotional books available for teens who would like to have them. Some of our devotional materials are written by teens who were in detention and found ways to put into words powerful messages to youth who are struggling today.
3. We are building a network of churches and ministries across the state to help recruit more volunteers to serve in our juvenile centers and donate to specific needs that arise throughout the year.
If any of these things could be helpful to you or a facility you are associated with, please feel free to email me and I’ll be glad to help by sending these materials or collaborating with you to get more volunteer support.
*Learn more about how to impact high-risk and fatherless youth at www.kenturnerministries.org
_____________________ Office Address: Ken Turner Ministries: High Impact Teens, 289 Main Street, Dayton, TN 37321 Mailing address: Ken Turner Ministries, PO Box 1325, Dayton, TN 37321
CHURCH MEMBERS, VOLUNTEERS, THOSE WHO ARE COMMITTED TO MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF YOUTH
Our goal is to touch the lives of 1,000 youth in December by providing Christmas cards for youth to send a loved one, a Bible, a teen devotional book, and a small Christmas package! Through our outreach ministry to youth in juvenile centers across Tennessee, Indiana, and Pennsylvania, we are giving them the hope of the gospel. Because of your prayers and gifts, we can reach into these places where 85-90% of youth are fatherless.
Churches and individuals have joined together as a team of donors and prayer partners… Join us and give a gift today to provide hope to high-risk and fatherless youth.
Yesterday, I was with a group of six high school boys in one of our outreach programs in a juvenile facility. Two of the six boys made this statement, “I’ve been on my own since I was twelve.”
They went on to explain they weren’t homeless since age twelve but they were “on their own” in the sense that their parents had essentially “checked out” on them by the time they were twelve. In some cases, fathers leave and never return and moms fall into crime or are battling addictions at such a deep level they can’t function well enough to be a parent.
There are no easy answers, but I’d like to hear from others who have overcome difficult circumstances like this. What advice would you give a teenager who said, “I’ve been taking care of myself since age twelve.”
My friendship with Ken started over 20 years ago, during our days in college. Ken has always been an encouragement to me in my involvement in ministry to others. He motivates me to continue reaching others with the messages of God’s love and amazing grace.
When God provides more than we need in our lives financially, I feel it is so that we in turn can help others. I have ministered with Ken in detention centers and youth meetings, I and have seen first hand his love for young people and for those who are less fortunate than others. I believe 100% in what he is doing and consider it an honor to be able to support him financially and prayerfully in what God has called him to do. I’d like to invite you to join us and support this great ministry.
With the holidays approaching, it always seems to be the time that devotionals point us in the direction of
having “an attitude of gratitude,” and mine today was no different. My verse for the day was 2 Corinthians 9:10-11, “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
I think I reread this verse ten times before I decided to start breaking it down to fully understand just what The Lord personally was saying to me. Basically, God is supplying the seed and bread, increasing my store of seed, and enlarging the harvest of righteousness, so that I will be enriched in every way. Hmmm, sounding good so far, “but why Lord, why do you chose to enrich me?” “Oh My Child, I have poured into you in such a generous way that if you chose to follow My example and live a life of generosity…” That’s not very hard to understand. The choice is mine to make and He is calling me to be generous.
In 2011 we met this precious couple, Ken and Jennifer Turner. After hearing their testimony, their passion for Christ, and their love for others, we wanted to be engaged in their ministry beyond “hearing,” beyond “watching,” and beyond “sharing.” In the words of my mentor, David Busby, We desired to “taste” of that which God had called them to and join them in the journey. Walt and I now serve on the board for High Impact Teens, but we have also chosen to stand beside Ken and Jennifer in the work that they are doing. The blessing has been ours and it has been more than a privilege to be on the HIT team.
We have been with Ken when he has shared in juvenile detention centers on what it means to “Man Up” and be a disciple for Christ. Approximately 90% of these young men do not have a father, but Ken shares with them about a Father that will never leave them nor forsake them and hope returns to their eyes and eventually their souls.
Two weeks ago, I was with Ken when he shared with hundreds of public school students in Rhea County and Roane County Tennessee “Your classmates are killing themselves.” Students are going home from school to commit suicide because the treatment they receive at school has become so intense they feel no hope for a life that is bearable. High Impact Teens brought in Kim Harvey of Angels and Doves, the National Anti-Bullying Program for schools and youth organizations, former University of Tennessee football player Inky Johnson as well as musician and songwriter Scott Roley of Franklin, Tennessee. The message was so powerful. Whether it is Character and Values Mentoring in court ordered alternative schools or Leading P3 Clubs (Positive Peer Pressure) in 8 county schools in TN, crying with a young man in the detention center who has no one to go home to, or engaging with athletic teams to play for reasons other than the earthly desire to win, Ken and Jennifer give of their lives to minister to others.
Our desire as a couple, and as a board, is that we have at least 100 individuals 10 corporate sponsors and 10 churches partnering with High Impact Teens on a monthly basis. This support team will provide a strong foundation of prayer and financial resources that will give Ken and Jennifer the opportunity to focus on that which God has called them to do …. minister to the least of these, love the broken hearted, and disciple and train up this generation of youth. Please pray earnestly about making an end of the year donation to this frontline ministry to fatherless youth. We also ask that you pray about becoming a monthly supporter. I can assure you that God is true to His Word and that your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
Walt and Diane Sirmans
High Impact Teens Partners with National Anti-Bullying Program Angels and Doves
“Classmates are killing themselves… literally.” As I stood before hundreds of public school students in Rhea County and Roane County Tennessee to introduce Kim Harvey of Angels and Doves, the National Anti-Bullying Program for schools and youth organizations, I made the statement to the students… “Your classmates are killing themselves. All across America students are going home from school to commit suicide because the treatment they receive at school has become so intense they feel no hope for a life that is bearable, so they end it by taking their own life.”
The team of presenters not only included Kim Harvey of Angels and Doves based in Indianapolis, Indiana but also former University of Tennessee football player Inky Johnson as well as musician and songwriter Scott Roley of Franklin, Tennessee. Kim founded the Angels and Doves National Anti-Bullying Program and has presented her message in a way that has reshaped the culture on many school campuses. I met Kim at an event we participated in together in July 2012 at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center in Indianapolis focused on anti-violence. After Kim presented the keynote presentation on bullying to the students, Inky Johnson shared his story of incredible success as a UT football player who was on track to an illustrious NFL career but his life plans were altered when he made a tackle in his junior year at UT and almost lost his life from the injuries he received. Although his life was spared, he now lives daily with a paralyzed right arm. Inky’s message was powerful as he explained that he went from a person with incredible God-given athletic ability to a person with a disability. But, he is still just as valuable with or without the use of his right arm. He challenged the students to treat all classmates with respect and seek to know each other’s story of life. Scott Roley closed the presentation with a story about his dad and an anger problem that was passed down through the generations of his family. He sang a song he wrote about his dad and how he had taken his dad’s anger problem and embraced it and then passed it down. The song titled, “The Old Man Came Back Last Night” was a powerful closing message to all our students.
Our team made presentations in Spring City Middle School, Rhea Central, Roane County High School, Rockwood High School and Rockwood Middle School. Local businesses and churches sponsored our presentations in Rhea County and the Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition was our signature sponsor for the programs in Roane County.
On a Monday night during our “Man Up” Bible study 6 teenage boys accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior! I was asked to bring the Bible study in to a different unit from what was scheduled. This Bible study is something I started about at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center in Indianapolis. When I walked in to the room, one boy was kind of upset and let it be known that he was not interested in listening to a Bible study. So I opened in prayer and jumped right in. His countenance changed almost instantly and he started listening, asking questions and became very engaged. Other guys followed with that same desire to hear. It was one of the most amazing evidences of seeing the Holy Spirit work I have ever experienced. At the end 6 teenage boys asked to be saved. One boy walked up to me after we finished, he grabbed my hand and leaned toward my ear and said, “My name is Michael. I need you to remember my name a please continue to pray for me. Remember… it’s Michael.”
It kind of made me wonder if Michael has people in his life who really care for him, who pray for him and are willing to take his name to the throne of God.
When the Bible study ended the guys started applauding, thanking me and asking me to come back as soon as possible to share more. The applause was started by the guy who was so angry when I walked in to the room.
Oh, and the guy that was angry when we started… he’s a brother in Christ now too!
If you ever wonder if God really knows who you are and what is happening in your life right now… read Psalm 139. You will be amazed at what He has to say about the subject.