See the Story 2021

Rallying Help for Kids

November 8, 2021

story

“You know my dad passed away, right?”

asked Ethan*.

His words caught me off guard because Ethan and I had never had a conversation, and in fact, weren’t even having one up to that point in time.  Of course that all changed when Ethan posed his question.

For the next few minutes, Ethan, an eighth grader, verbally painted a picture of his life.  Occasionally, I’d ask questions and he’d make the picture a little clearer.  Ethan’s dad was in and out of prison for most of his adult years, so he was never very involved in Ethan’s life.  Still, his death hit Ethan hard.  He told me he cried a lot after his dad was gone.  Ethan’s mom has constantly struggled with drugs and has been largely out of the picture of Ethan’s life too.  I’m still not clear about where Ethan has lived for much of the last few years, but the man he lives with now is a friend of his grandma and not related to him in any way.  Still, this man cares enough about Ethan and his brother to take them in.

As I listened to Ethan, I was impressed by his attitude and outlook given all the instability and disappointments he has gone through.  I remember thinking most teens would be bitter, anxious, or troubled if their circumstances were the same.  However, that’s when Ethan provided another clue.  Through troubled times he’s leaned on the caring pastor across the street, the church that has welcomed Ethan as their own, and the outreach of Youth for Christ through some loving Campus Life ministry leaders.  As Ethan went on to tell me about his prayer life, it became very clear, God and Ethan’s faith are what provides the strength in his life.

Teenagers like Ethan are the reason Youth for Christ ministry is needed in young people’s lives.  And what we learn from Ethan is, it’s not just because many teenagers face significant problems (though many do!), it’s because God changes lives, and we can actually play a role in making a difference for kids!  That’s why Youth for Christ continues to exist and it’s also the reason fourteen “See the Story” events where held beginning back in November, rallying involvement in the cause.  Beyond that, it’s the reason at least a dozen champions of Youth for Christ ministry made YFC’s mission their own to the extent they hosted “See the Story” events on their own in their homes or churches.  As Dave and Linda Hollinger said recently, “We enjoy hosting and going to the YFC yearly banquets where we can hear the stories of the kids whose lives have been changed and about many that have come to give their lives to Jesus.  Hearing the students’ stories at these events gives us a better understanding of the impact it is having on our young people.  We can put names and faces together and hear their stories and hear the difference YFC had on them personally.”

Three “See the Story” events were held at the Youth for Christ Ministry Center in mid-November.  These dessert receptions involved a mix of live voices and video giving testimony to the work God is doing through Youth for Christ programs and informing adults about how they can impact kids’ themselves through this ministry.  Through the program, fourteen different teenagers shared about the difference being involved with YFC has made in their lives.

As inspiring as the events at the Ministry Center were, the “See the Story” programs in people’s homes and churches might have been even more meaningful.  One host told us that being in a home setting with friends seemed to stimulate more conversations about YFC, especially after hearing the kids share their experiences.  Another noted how much more relevant the program was to their own particular community, because in their case, the YFC staff person from their town was able to come and share exactly what is happening close to home.  Still another host said, “This year was very special as we experienced a more intimate setting to view the program in the comfort of our home!”

Whether in someone’s home or at the Ministry Center, the recent “See the Story events” were an opportunity for new people to get involved and long-time partners to step up their investment.  As a first-time guest shared recently, “I didn’t know much about YFC so the entire event was an eye opener for me. I was looking to serve outside of my church.”  This woman now has a place to serve with the Youth for Christ team.

This year’s “See the Story” gatherings were a great way to rally friends and neighbors to make a difference in young people’s lives through their investments of prayer, time, resources, and leadership.  The good news is this opportunity doesn’t have to end!  The “2021 See the Story” video program is still relevant and available to watch via YouTube.  You can find it along with other YFC videos at youtube.com/yfcmv and check it out.  Or better yet, you can still multiply the impact on kids’ lives by sharing it with friends and family in your home or at your church.  Want to “share the story” and make a greater difference for lost and struggling kids?  Please let us know.

*Name has been changed to maintain confidentiality.

Stay Connected

See how YFC is a life changing place for young people