They began meeting the following week and for the next couple of months, things went really well. They studied the Bible. They memorized Bible verses. A few more kids from school saw the announcement about the club and began to meet with them. They found service projects to do for the elderly people that they knew about. They were one of the clean up teams when the school held a work day on a Saturday to clean up the school grounds.
Things were going really well; until Freddie showed up.
Freddie was the leader of a group of bullies at their school and they tried to run the playground. He and his group had been playing some softball one day on the playground. Johnny was on the other team.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Johnny’s team was behind by a score of 5 to 3. Freddie was having a rough inning. He had already allowed one hit and walked another batter. So there were two guys on base with two outs when Johnny came up to bat. Freddie thought that he was a really good pitcher but, Johnny had gotten two hits and a walk against him. If Freddie could get Johnny out, his team would win.
Johnny decided to wait for a pitch that he could hit. If he could hit it deep enough, the two guys on base could score and the game would be tied. After falling behind on two pitches that were borderline balls, Freddie threw his corkscrew pitch and Johnny swung. He hit the ball really hard and it sailed to left field. The two guys on base began to run as soon as they realized that the outfielder wasn’t going to catch it. Johnny watched for a few moments and then began to run as hard as he could. The ball kept sailing until it went over the fence. It was a home run and Johnny’s team had won the game. After all the runners scored, Johnny’s team huddled around home plate yelling and screaming their excitement. Johnny was the hero.
Freddie didn’t see it that way. He felt that all of that celebrating was embarrassing and decided to get Johnny back for that. Freddie had seen Johnny walking home with his friends Susie and Andrea. He knew just where to intercept Johnny with his gang.
The next day he and his buddies and give Johnny a hard time on the way home in front of his friends.
The After School Bible Adventure Club had been studying the book of Romans in their after school meetings and were memorizing verses each week as they went through it. They were up to Romans chapter 12 in the part that says:
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
In fact, they were memorizing that last verse.