“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”
School is back! That means new kids, the launch of Campus Life clubs, new ministry leaders deployed, and excitement for new Christ-sharing connections.
This year I’m serving at Clovis East Campus Life. There are 3,000 high schoolers at this one location! My first day on campus I met students who were excited about a place at school to learn about God, and I met others whose defenses came up as soon as the word God entered the conversation.
At this high school there are easily 1,500 kids who do not follow Jesus. What if hundreds of teens received Christ this year at Clovis East? It would be life changing, school changing, and even city changing.
Recently one of our staff alumni, Jerry Anderson, went to be with the Lord. Friends of his, Doyle Daniels and Larry Ballenger, both reached out to share how impactful Jerry was on them and the movement. It was the YFC leadership retreat at Sequoia Lake just before Doyle’s sophomore year at McLane when he first met these guys. “These relationships,” Doyle wrote, “influenced me to enter the ministry for 11 years.” Well, truth be told, Doyle never really left the ministry either!
Here we are 70 years on from those days and just this week a young man named Eric received Christ with his YFC Staff member John. It’s still happening.
Eric came to us from out of county, caught up on gun charges, gang affiliated with the neck tats to prove it. He is a new dad and was getting curious about God. He and John started doing bible studies together and addressing his unique questions. They covered the grace of God, the acceptance and transformation of those who are far from God, and our call to embrace others.
Eric believed in God but needed someone to help him understand and start a relationship with Jesus – one that was real, personal, and bigger than superficial markers of being religious. John taught Eric that if you place your faith in Christ you are a Christian. To believe is to follow. “Do you want to follow Jesus?” John asked. Eric wanted to!
That weekend Eric surprised John at Church and had three other guys in tow. He got a chance to hold John’s newborn son too. You can literally see God doing something bigger throughout this process. What will it look like for Eric to become a godly dad in the life of his own son? What will it mean for the life of that new child?
These are the moments and relationships that Youth For Christ is about. Guys like Larry, Doyle, and Jerry who challenged kids to experience a life-change that lasts for eternity. This is the foundation we continue to build upon that kids would dwell in the shelter of God’s saving love.