Motivation & Personal Growth: I'm Thankful for Saving a Troubled Teenager

November 1, 1997

One fall day, Luci Champion, a salesperson with Realty Executives 100, Falls Church, Va., was convinced she was about to become a crime victim. Unexpectedly, the story had a happy ending.

She was alone, sitting outside at an open house for a small rural development of new homes, when suddenly she noticed a large young man, barefoot and shirtless and wearing only a pair of jeans. He loitered nearby, acting suspiciously.

Champion watched as he seemed to walk away. But then he turned back toward her with a knife poised in one hand and a rope in the other.

''I knew I was facing death. I cried out, 'Jesus!''' she says.

''To my surprise, he stopped as if a bullet had hit him. He dropped his hands and began to back away, saying, 'Help me! Please help me!'

''I replied, 'Yes, I'll help you. Just drop those things.'

''Immediately, he threw the knife and rope in the street.

'''Now go and sit in that chair,' I insisted. Again, he obeyed. He was looking at me expectantly, and a wave of compassion filled my heart. I have five sons, and I felt I had to try to help him.

''He poured out his story. His father had thrown him out of the house after an argument. He had spent the night in the woods. He had been in trouble and under psychiatric care since he was a small boy.

''I told him that God loved him and that I believed that God could help. He agreed, and we prayed. His whole life changed.

''Later he became a friend of ours. A county judge who worked with juveniles also took an interest in him. Today this young man is living a productive life.

''I'm so thankful that things turned out well for him.''

Walt Albro is a former senior editor for REALTOR® Magazine.

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