Years ago, God put it on my heart to start a boys’ home on Long Island. I truly sensed the Lord was behind this work. Yet, after just eighteen months, state officials imposed such stringent regulations on the operation of the home that we had no option but to close it down.

We’d taken in four boys during the brief time we were open. After we closed down, I lost touch with them. I had always thought that venture was one of the greatest failures of all time. For more than three decades, I wondered why God ever allowed us to move forward with it.

Recently I received a letter from a man named Clifford. He told the following story:

“Brother David, I was one of the four boys sent to the home on Long Island. Your houseparents were so loving and kind. They taught us the Bible and took us to church. One day they took us to a church that was holding a tent revival. I was so bitter and despondent. It was there, under the tent, that the Holy Spirit began tugging at my heart. I heard the preacher say, ‘Jesus loves you.’ All the years of pain, confusion and hopelessness came to the surface. I got on my knees and prayed. That was thirty-five years ago. Now God has called me to preach, and he’s moving me into full-time ministry. This ‘thank you’ has been brewing in me all this time. I just want to thank you for caring. I know what the love of God is.”

This man’s letter proves to me that nothing we do for Christ is in vain. That boys’ home was not a failure—because one lost, confused Jewish boy discovered the meaning of God’s love.