Hey, I’m Darius Person. I am a husband. I’m a father. I am a youth coordinator here in Dallas, Texas, at Forerunner Mentoring. I’m from Jackson, Tennessee, born and raised. I met my wife in Memphis, Tennessee and yeah, the Lord led us to Dallas years ago. I’d love to share that story with you all.
In Tennessee, I was on the Young Life staff for some years, and I left Young Life in 2019. I just took six months off to figure out what was next and I had a dream. In that dream, my wife and I, we had kids and they had Dallas Cowboys jerseys, and the oldest son was a boy. They were blurred out but I knew they were our kids. So I was like, “Huh.” I’m a dreamer; like, I dream a lot. God speaks to me through dreams. I told my wife about it and she was like, “Wow, that’s exciting.” because she wanted kids. Then she began to experience signs as well for Dallas.
So we visited a cousin and he gave us a tour of Dallas, and all those things. We went back to Memphis and I just felt uneasy. I just felt this urge to map out more details and figure out ways to get to Dallas, right? So I started putting in job applications and kept getting denied. I was like, “What’s going on here God? Like, You trying to get us to Dallas or whatever?” So we visited Dallas again, but this time, just us. No distractions. We just were here, got a hotel, we’re praying.
My wife gets an email from one of our old mentors from high school and they had a conference here that same day she got the email. So we were like, “huh, we should go to this.” So we go to the conference and the person speaking, he pointed at us and he brought us out. He was like, “Hey, I feel like I should pray for y’all. Yeah, like something’s going on with y’all. I can just sense it. What is it?” And we were like, “Yeah, God is leading us to Dallas and we don’t know what His plan is, what’s His purpose for us here, but we’re here. So you pray for us.”
We get to our car and there was a car right next to us with this couple, and they asked us to roll our window down so they could speak to us. They were like, “We have the same exact story. Years ago, God told us to move to Dallas, and I think something is going on with us being parked right next to y’all. We saw y’all to go up there to be prayed for, but we were like, “We don’t want to be weird. We don’t want to be awkward. So we just prayed for y’all. But y’all are parked right next to us. Do y’all want to go to dinner?” So we were like, “Yeah, yeah, like, let’s go to dinner like.” We’d never met these people before in our life.
So we go to dinner. And I mean, they encouraged us. They began to tell us how everything began to unfold for them. So we got their numbers and we stayed in contact. About two weeks later, I just felt God say to me, “You got three weeks to move.” I was like, “Wow.”
So my background, I never grew up stable. I was homeless at 16. So I’m used to transitions, like, it doesn’t bother me. But my wife is the only child, you know, was nurtured well, she’s got both parents. So, you know, it took her a while to get on board. During these three weeks I’m just like, “God, like, You want us to up and move, but I mean, we wouldn’t have a job in Texas, nothing’s locked up.” We get a call from the couple and they were like, “Okay, so we’ve been praying for y’all and we have a five bedroom house. God wants y’all to come stay with us until you figure out what’s going on.”
We were like, “Alright. I guess that’s the sign to just up and move. So my wife just quit her job, but they asked her [to stay], because she worked remote. So I feel like that was God, you know, honoring her in that. So we just packed up a U-haul, and got to Texas to stay with the couple. And guess what happened? COVID hit. That’s why God said we have three weeks. None of us could have ever imagined COVID happening in our lifetime.
So yeah, I got the quickest job I could at a warehouse, three months in I was laid off from that job. I’d say around about three months after that I felt led to Google ‘Youth Ministry jobs’ here in Dallas. I came across Forerunner Mentoring and apply for the role. I saw that they had an opportunity for someone to start a high school program. I’m a self starter. I know God has wired me to reach youth and I was prophesied over when I was 16-17, that I will be a magnet to youth. So I applied for the role and got the job.
We were like, “How are we going to build a high school program during COVID?” So I was just praying to God about ideas, our team was just praying about ideas, and this was 2020, right before school started. Fall semester was just happening and I posted up across from the school with some donuts and some chips sometimes. I was just inviting guys to our high school program called Thrive. I felt led to call it Thrive.
I invited this kid, he showed up, not the first time but the second time and that’s how it happened. Guys started showing up because they’d have nothing to do. So I felt like God kind of favored us in the sense of like, kids needed something to do and we were the only program pretty much that was open. I felt like God softened the hearts of parents to allow their boys to come. But, we still weren’t in the high school. I was like, we gotta get in this high school.
I sent the principal an email, you know, just talking about who we were and our vision. She said, “Yeah, let’s set up a meeting.” So going into the meeting – She was late to the meeting. Apparently something happened with the student. – She finally comes in. She was just apologizing, “Hey, I’m sorry. We had a circumstance with the student and we had to attend to that. But yeah, tell me more about your program and what you guys have going on.”
I was like, “Oh, cool. So yes ma’am…” I gave her a flier and I began to name off the kids on the flier like hey, these are some young men in our program. I was like, yeah, like they attend the school and I began to name off the students. She was like, “I’m sorry, would you mind saying those students names again?” And I began to name off the students. She said, “I’m sorry, one more time.” And I say a kid’s name. She said, “The reason why I wasn’t in this meeting was because there was a student whose home burned down and you just named that student. That’s the kid whose home just burnt down. His mom’s in the next door. Can I bring her in?” I was like, “Sure, sure. Yeah.”
I meet his mom and his mom begins to sell the program for me. She’s like, “Oh, my son loves his program. He’s there every week. He actually takes off work just to go there.” So that was the lead way of how I got into the high school. The principal was like, “Wow!” I could tell that she was a Christian just by her body language. She was like pointing towards the ceiling, like, “Okay.” Like, “Oh, okay. Okay, God.” God is just mysterious. He’s divine.
My aunt, who passed away years ago, she used to bring my cousin to our house to mow our grass. He was like, five, six years old, right? He can’t reach a lawnmower, right? But she would set him up in the backyard, and she would put him in a lawn chair, give him some lemonade, put some shades on him, and she would mow the grass. And she would pay him. Right? I think that’s God towards us. We just got to show up and He mows the grass.
I didn’t do anything to get into this high school. I just, I just showed up and God mowed the grass. God’s like, “I got this.” I’m just involved with doing what I’m doing. Then throughout that time, my wife and I got pregnant and the dream that I had made sense, because we got a son now. Everything began to unfold.
So for you listening right now, know that God wants to reveal Himself. Many times in Scripture, faith moved Jesus. It wasn’t a prayer that moved Him or good deeds that someone did for someone that moved Him. Faith moved Him because faith is what you choose to believe. During our time of going through our season of uncertainty, we just kept showing God our faith.
One day, a young man left his laptop. I think that’s common for a teenager, right? Like, you know, forgetting stuff. He left his laptop at the program and I showed up to the office and his laptop was on my desk. And I was like, Well, I guess I’ll take it later. I was like, well… I feel the urge to take it then. Like, he probably needs his laptop, he’s in school. So, I arrived at the school and there was a young man on the steps. He was just crying, angry, and his mom was on the phone with someone.
I go into the office and one of the principals was like, “Oh my gosh, you’re here! I just told that mom outside about Forerunner.” And like, I’m never at the school that early – at the junior high school. I’m normally there in the afternoons once kids get dismissed from school. I go outside, talk with the mom, and the young man joins our program. He has a mentor now.
[The mom] sent us a text and she was like, “I don’t know what y’all did, but my son’s a different person. He’s not that angry kid anymore.” He’s a freshman now in our high school program; he’s in Thrive.This kid has just transformed.
So yeah, like, I see God do work through our kids from our kindergarteners to our 12th graders. We see God do work. We just show up and watch God mow the grass, like I showed up to work that day. Normal day, laptops on my desk, take it to the school and boom! “Okay God, so this is what You want to do today. Okay, let’s do it.”