by DanWolgemuth on November 13, 2017


“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12, ESV)

“Well, at four years old I lost my dad… and my story really unfolds from there.”

Jeff Ross is on our staff in Spokane, Washington. The story of his first quarter century of life is difficult to hear. A cascading progression of brokenness, drugs and violence.

Mary and I stood in a new City Life Center in downtown Spokane, just one block from Lewis & Clark High School, listening to Jeff unpack pieces of his story. The trajectory of Jeff’s life was aimed at destruction from the beginning, as the velocity toward disaster increased to a breaking point.

A drug dealer, addicted to his inventory, Jeff prepared to end his life. With a gun to his head Jeff cried out in one last act of desperation. “Jesus, if you are for real…”

In an instant, at the very last moment, a tsunami of peace and comfort pulsed through Jeff’s body. He was swept up into the current of hope. Rescued.

Now, nearly 20 years later, Jeff walks the streets and allies with Charlie Buford, another YFC staffer. Both men, with a resume of violence, have become gentle warriors, valiant soldiers, and powerful agents of Christ.

They honor God with their courage. Fearless, not because of their past, but because of the future, they press into the lives of the addicted and abused and abandoned. They look hopelessness in the face and see beauty.

Words of character and grace adorn the walls of the center… crafted in graffiti, written to inspire and define.

They have chosen to plug their redeemed lives into the power source that Jesus promised. They have opted to confront the enemy on his home field.

I saw pictures of the allies where teenagers sat, surrounded by trash and broken needles. The Word incarnate. The love of Christ in action. A GPS navigating into the mess, not around it.

Power. Such amazing, Holy Spirit power. Pouring oxygen into the suffocating souls of the young people of Spokane.

This is not how Jeff occasionally lives, it’s the only way he knows how to live. Full on. All in.

Jeff and Charlie choose every day to live into the promise that Jesus made. “Greater works…” is not their tagline; it’s the covenant promise of Jesus.

And as Christ exited planet earth, His departing words have become their defining mark:

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8, ESV)

Power. Unbounded, unrelenting, uncompromising, unbelievable power.

Because Jesus promised.

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