In Young Life we value fun and adventure. So whenever we see an opportunity to make that happen for kids, we jump on it. On this adventure we took kids to a Gospel Rap concert. The concert featured three artists that are known by many across the country-Andy Mineo, KB, and Canon. They put on a great show. Our kids got to witness and join in with people who were absolutely going crazy for Jesus. Fun times!
This fall, Leonard had the opportunity to hang out with the Center High School football team in a special way. Every Thursday after the team finished their walk through practice before Friday’s big game, Leonard got the chance to speak to the football team. This opportunity came as Leonard and the head football coach, Bryan DeLong, brainstormed on how to help the players to be more than great athletes but great men.
This is the third year we’ve pursued kids at Ruskin High School. For the past two years we’ve had a combined club with Center and Ruskin students. This year Ruskin split from the group and began their own club that meets on Tuesdays after school inside of Ruskin. We’re excited about the favor we’ve had with the Ruskin administration and great potential that comes with having club inside of the school.
Every fall we kick off the year with a trip to Kauffman Stadium to watch a Royals Game. We start off with a little tailgate action before the game. Then we climb into two buses and head to the stadium. We expect kids to hang out in the stands and socialize with each other or walk around and explore the stadium. This year we actually had some Royals fans that were really following the game.
This year we are excited about the 13 new volunteers that joined us. Three of them are part of starting a new club at Southwest High School. One of the great things about our new team is its diversity. We definitely want our team and our ministry to reflect the Kingdom of God. Having leaders of different ages and ethnic backgrounds help to make that happen.
This year’s camp trip was to Crooked Creek Ranch in the mountains of Colorado. The view of the landscape and the mountains alone were breath-taking. Our kids got to experience things like horseback riding, a mountain hike, ridge runners (go carts), a ropes course, a giant swing, and a zip line. On top of that there are a lot of other fun activities and experiences that Crooked Creek had to offer. For dinner one night the entire camp dressed up in black and white and enjoyed a wonderful steak dinner. The above picture was taken right before dinner that day. For some of our kids the highlight was mixing it up with 400 other kids. Each day the kids heard the Gospel. At the end of the week, four guys stood up in front of everyone and declared their commitment to Jesus.
Each summer I get the opportunity to serve at a Young Life camp. This summer I had the opportunity to be a head leader at Timber Wolf Lake in Lake City, Michigan. A head leader’s job is to care for the leaders that bring kids and to help meet whatever needs kids and leaders have during their week at camp.
A leader came to me one day because he needed some help with three of his boys that weren’t listening and were being disrespectful. One of the boys was Arthur (Above). I gathered all the guys and took them in the office along with their leader. We want everyone to stay at Young Life camp and have fun, but not if it’s at the expense of other campers and leaders. I shared that with the boys and told them the next course of action was to send them home. They all agreed to do better.
At the end of the week, the same leader approached me and said that one of the guys wanted to talk to me. It was Arthur. He expressed that he wanted to change and accept Jesus into his life. I was amazed because he was a different person just a few days ago. I was also surprised that he came to me after I threatened to send him home from camp. None of that mattered at that point in time, and I began to share with him what life with Jesus could look like going home. I’m so grateful that I get to be a part of something that has such a profound impact on kids’ lives.