Jim’s family was moving again. His single mom continued to go from one situation or job to the next, taking her two sons with her. Fortunately, she always tried to stay in our school district so the boys wouldn’t have to change schools. Jim started to come to our weekly Campus Life Club just to hang out with friends after school. (Campus Life is one of the ministry models of Youth For Christ). He was super social and loved the competitive games. Soon he started bringing his girlfriend, Amanda. She was from a broken family too, transplanted from Long Island when her parents split. Jim and Amanda had lots of questions about God, the Bible, and morality, which had been up for grabs in their homes.
By the time they graduated from high school, they had both decided to make Jesus the Lord and Savior of their lives. I helped them steer their way through college and saw them struggle to make their faith their own. I wasn’t sure if they would stay together for the long haul, but after working through hard things they eventually got married. They are first generation Christians raising a family in a completely different way than they were raised, all because they were involved with Christian adults running a Campus Life Club. It wasn’t just the Club, it was the building of authentic relationships that didn’t give up on them.
Youth For Christ is always meeting students where they are at, especially when life is hard. Students are trying to understand what is going on around them—things they can’t control—relationships that keep changing and hurt or disappoint. As much as possible YFC ministries are offering a place and relationship that is consistently welcoming and loving. It’s somewhere they can keep coming back to, even when they mess up. It’s what Jim and Amanda needed to be shown to them – that there is a loving God they could trust and believe in. They are still walking with Jesus, and I’m still here for them. YFC is all about giving lost teens the opportunity to become life-long followers of Jesus Christ and seeing God transform lives. I’m blessed to be a part of this ministry.
*Names have been changed