You make your way through the building, scanning the face of each person you pass. You’re tracking down a particular target. A large, burly-looking guy heading your way catches your eye, but you look at him more carefully and see he’s not the one you’re looking for.
You’ve already spent a lot of time to find your man, and you’ve come a long way just to get to this place. Your information had better be right this time.
You hear the loud clang of metal meeting metal, and quickly follow where the noise came from. Through the rows of cold, steel machinery, you catch a glimpse of him. Good, he’s sitting down; he won’t slip out of your sights. You have him now.
He’s breathing heavily, and you can see he’s been running. You approach your man slowly, careful not to move too quickly, lest he become defensive. He notices you approaching him and turns toward you. Time to make your move.
“Mr. Gray?” you ask. “Mr. Josh Gray? I’d like to have a word with you.”
He rises slowly, and he seems to be sizing you up. You’ll have to act quickly before things go south.
You smile and continue: “I’m here because I’ve heard great things about you, Mr. Gray. I’ve heard about some of your experiences and the way you’ve responded to them in faith, and I was hoping you would be willing to tell me a bit more about yourself. I think your story could really encourage some folks out there.”
He pauses for a moment, and then grins. “Sure man, I’d be happy to. Hey, you look like you’ve had a long day. Let’s get out of here and get some coffee or something. The gym is no place to have a real conversation anyway.”
As the two of you walk past the exercise equipment toward the exit, you can’t help but smile to yourself. You finally found him, after all this searching! This is sure going to be one terrific story to pass on later.
Josh Gray, a fifteen-year-old sophomore, was born in Florida, has lived in Jordan, and now resides in Massy, France. He enjoys listening to rap—both American and French—and hip-hop, and appreciates the work of different artists from each genre, such as NF and Post Malone. His favorite movies include anything in the Marvel Universe, Equalizer 2, and BlackKlansman. He doesn’t pursue reading as much as he used to, but he does find To Kill a Mockingbird interesting.
He enjoys playing video games, listening to music, exercising, and hanging out with friends. He takes to sports quite naturally and plays a variety of them. The newest addition to this list is boxing, which he has just recently started. Also, he can move his nose, which should arguably be considered a sport. If you don’t agree, you try it sometime.
Josh isn’t sure what he wants to go into when he graduates, but he knows he wants to leave France to attend college. Two of the universities he’s thinking about are Texas A&M and Texas Christian University. He’s interested in several fields that he might consider pursuing, such as engineering, acting, professional sports, and the military.
He’s had a lot of experiences in his life that have shaped who he is, and not all of them have been easy, but he’s really pressed on and pressed into Christ to get through them all. When he was 9, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he lived for three and half years before his family decided to go on furlough. But instead of going back to Jordan after their year of furlough, they felt called to move to France. Josh never had a chance to say goodbye to all the people he knew in Jordan. He was devastated. They had been his community, his friends for years, and he didn’t know he wasn’t going to see them again until it was too late. Then, when he was fourteen, he moved to a different city in France, leaving his friends behind once again.
At first he blamed God and his parents for the pain of this separation, and harbored anger because of his situation. But then, when he saw the way his anger was hurting those around him, he decided to put it behind him and accept God’s calling for his family to stay in France. His choice to let go of his resentment allowed him to finally feel at home where he was. His advice for other TCKs, or anyone who has moved, is to “accept it and try to look on the bright side and establish new friends…and most importantly do not turn away from God.”
Josh’s willingness to press on and trust God has helped him to find freedom where God has called him—and how fitting, because his favorite Bible verse is Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” And, just like the Energizer Bunny, this soldier of faith continues to forge onward…
Obligatory Bullet List:
- Favorite Colors: Black, grey, and white
- TPS Classes this Year: Algebra 1, Biology, World History, Spanish 1, and English 3
- Siblings: 5
- MBTI (Meyers-Briggs) Type: ENFP