Update on Young Life
I would like to take the time to give glory and honor to the Lord for what He has accomplished in Young Life this year. He has been faithful to pour out His Spirit, strength, grace, and wisdom on the leaders as He worked in these students' lives. We give Him all the praise! Thank you for supporting Donna Zimmerman and the rest of the leaders! Together, we have finished another year of reaching out to our local youth and impacting them with God's truth.
Here is a review:
It's 7:32pm. As the day dims to night, students from Live Oak, Sobrato, Central, Gilroy, Valley Christian, and Christopher gather outside Mission Bell. A gentle breeze sweeps away the emotions, events, and troubles of Monday. Anticipation hangs in the air, blending with the odor of a pizza being consumed by the student on my right. Laughter and chatter build as groups of kids merge to catch up with each other. I hop over to the two girls I met last week, focusing on remembering their names and interests as we prepare to start the evening's club. Donna stands at the entrance, ready to lead the charge. With a wild, explosive holler she throws herself through the doorway as the students follow. Each one is personally welcomed with high fives and a mighty uproar of music and voices.
Once everyone is settled on the floor and couches, "managed chaos" ensues. I would describe it as an hour of boisterous fun- a mixture of games, songs, comedy skits, camp promotions, and joy. Everyone is encouraged to have a good time, laugh at themselves, and be themselves. After the antics, the group settles into almost complete silence while one of the leaders shares about our Lord Jesus. However, for the last club of the year, we do something different. We finish the evening with the "Say So". It derives it's name from Psalm 107:1-2 "Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in..."
On May 23rd, many students from every school and different classes stood up to acknowledge the Lord. Some spoke with tears brimming in their eyes. Some spoke for the first time this year, revealing their journey through YL and the work God has done in their lives. I lifted up silent prayers of thanks as the kids I have come to care about told how they have come closer to God through YL. They pointed out the care of their mentors and the support they received during high school. I heard stories of how students had the chance to meet new friends, become closer to current friends, and find encouragement during high school through their YL family.
Over the past three years, I have seen these students struggle through the pressures of high school and try to cope with the destruction of sin's curse. It is a burden and privilege of this ministry to join in their triumphs, sorrows, and trials. It fuels our prayers because we labor to proclaim Christ in the midst of their fears, doubts, addictions, and brokenness. I am thankful that leaders get a chance to build relationships and discover the daily struggles in their lives. In turn, as we listen and love, we earn the right to speak truth into every life. After investing much time and prayer into these relationships, it is a true blessing to guide our high school friends to the only Source of hope. As it goes, most of the students I have become close to are graduating. I have watched them face countless hardships and find that the Lord is their strength. In the past 2 years we have witnessed a few kids get baptized, regularly attend worship with local churches, and have seen their faith grow.
As we end club for the year, we look forward to one of the greatest opportunities for gospel exposure: Woodleaf camp!! I would ask, on behalf of these students' souls, please pray that every spot is filled and that the Spirit would prepare them to understand the death and resurrection of our Lord. May they come to trust in His salvation and receive the gift of eternal life!
From everyone at Young Life, thank you for your support and prayers!