you are INVITED By Christie Dotson, Foster Care Director
“You are cordially invited to High Tea with best-selling author Debbie Macomber and friends.” thor. The girls were captivated by her story of struggling to publish her first novel and how she leaned on God and her family for support. Debbie encouraged them not to be defeated by the struggles of life and told them to pursue their dreams and reach for great things. We then took a picture of each girl with Debbie, who autographed each one with a personal message. I overheard one of the girls say, “I just got my picture taken with someone famous. I mean she is really famous!”
Eight special girls accepted the invitation and on the appointed Saturday arrived at a Port Orchard home in their best “tea party” dresses. Ready to provide a day of pampering, a team of gifted women came with bags of makeup, nail polish and hair styling supplies. The girls seemed to become fast friends as they chatted and giggled through the makeover process. The surprises continued to unfold as each of the girls was presented with a corsage made of pink roses. “I’ve never had a corsage before!” exclaimed one of the girls. As they walked out the front door, all the girls gasped at the sight of a stretch limo waiting to whisk them away. Giddy laughter filled the air as the girls peeked inside the luxurious car.
The whirlwind afternoon drew to a close and the girls returned to the waiting limousine. As I reflected back on the events of the day, I thought about the vague invitation and wondered why they had come. Wouldn’t you think a group of teenage girls would have something better to do on a Saturday afternoon? It occurred to me that each girl decided to come because of a relationship she had formed with a Youth for Christ staff person or volunteer. They came because they trusted they would be in for something good, without question and without reservation. What a privilege to be a priority for eight wonderful young women!
The limo driver gave them a scenic tour of the waterfront before delivering them to the Victorian Rose Tea Room in Port Orchard. Debbie Macomber, the highly acclaimed fiction writer from Port Orchard, graciously hosted the event and invited some of her friends to join her. At each table sat two girls, a YFC staff person, and an influential business woman from the community. Debbie presented the girls with custom made gift bags containing keepsakes.
Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers, Damian Lonnee and Galaxy Limousine, Debbie Macomber and the Victorian Tea Room for donating their time and services to provide such an incredibly special day!
After enjoying some fresh scones with whipped butter and jam, slices of fruit, tiny tea sandwiches and dainty pastries, Debbie shared how she became an au-
No young person too lost, no environment too broken, no community too disconnected...
Spring Newsletter 2010
P.O. Box 867 Poulsbo WA, 98370 NON PROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID POULSBO WA PERMIT NO 113
upcoming EVENTS ILS Rummage Sale June 25 8-2 & June 26 8-4 2010 Located at: 1410 Ohio Avenue Bremerton, WA 98337 Have a donation? Call 360.377.1899
Campus Life will be selling FIREWORKS! June 28th-July 4th At the DOWNTOWN QFC 3110 Judson ST, Gig Harbor 98335 Come and support CL & YFC this 4th of July Season!!!
YFCamp 2010 Rockridge June 20-26 Island Lake July 11-16 www.campuslifesk.com Garage Sale June 25-26 8am-2pm 542 Fir St Shelton
ministry spotlight ZACK WINGO Zack Wingo is a key volunteer for Campus Life at Cedar Heights in Port Orchard. He also is our new webmaster and assists with many other activities within YFC. We sat down with Zack recently to ask him a few questions about his experience with West Sound YFC. Zack, how did you first get connected to WSYFC? “In December of 2000 Chris Evatt, the new SK Campus Life director, asked me to pray about helping with Campus Life. I began volunteering shortly after that first meeting and my first Campus Life Club was February 8, 2001.” How have you seen God at work in your personal life through the ministry of WSYFC? “Working with teens can be very exhausting and even disheartening, but it has also been the most encouraging and worthwhile experience. I don’t know anything more exciting than the being a part of a life transformed by the Gospel, whether it is directly through sharing the Gospel or indirectly through prayer and financial support.” Why does the ministry of WSYFC grab your heart? “It’s the only ministry I know in Kitsap County that is actively targeting unbelieving teens with the Gospel.” Why did you decide to help with the new WSYFC and CL web sites? “The short answer is the old website was ugly, ineffective, and poorly organized. It was an area of need where I could use my past experience to help improve the current system.” Why is WSYFC as a good investment in your eyes? “I believe WSYFC effectively targets teens with the Gospel, which is the only thing that truly transforms a person’s life.”
josh’s THOUGHTS “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’” Isaiah 6:8 Throughout our history, Youth for Christ has been committed to being an agile youth ministry, focusing our efforts on reaching “every young person, one at a time.” Originally hosting large Saturday night youth rallies and then focusing on school campuses, YFC has continued to live up to one of our original mottos: “Anchored to the Rock, Geared to the Times.” Over the last couple of years, West Sound YFC has expanded our ministries to adapt to the rapidly changing youth culture of Kitsap and Mason Counties. Most recently, we were awarded a grant by the M.J. Murdock Foundation to start City Life ministry in Bremerton. City Life is a relational, neighborhood-based ministry model that has been very successful in the lives of teens around the county. As we strive to continually identify the best ministry methods for our community, we believe our ministry has never been stronger…whether on a school campus, working with a foster child, hosting an outreach event, meeting a student in the juvenile jail or mentoring a teen parent. As we further assess the needs of our counties, we are confident our relational ministry approach is a must. The youth we interact with on a daily basis crave relationships and it is through these relationships we are able to share God’s love. “Here am I! Send me.” The answer was short and simple. It was given without hesitation. All of us at West Sound YFC feel called by God to serve in this ministry. We are honored and privilege to work with kids. We love our jobs! We are blessed to have added two new staff members, Christy Garner and Crystal Johnston. Both of them are uniquely gifted and will fit in very well with our ILS team. As you can see, many other changes have taken place. A new website (www.westsoundyfc.org), the name change and a new format for our newsletter are all a part of our new look. As you enjoy these changes, we look forward to your feedback. The message is not new - the Gospel never changes. But we continue to adjust to the times as we reach kids who might otherwise be forgotten. He “ is still, and will always be, our answer for the youth we meet.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
My parents divorced when I was two, it was just me By Brande Green, Campus Life Director and my big brother. We got bounced around a lot growing up. I went to at least 17 different schools, I lost count somewhere around 5th grade. Our life was less than stable for most of our childhood. My mom married 7 times and my dad worked as a bartender, so needless to say I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. The only time I heard the name of Jesus, it was being used in a negative way. I dropped out of school toward the end of my 10th grade year. I worked two jobs and lived on my own when I was 15. I moved to Washington in 1989 and lived with my mom long enough to get my GED and graduate from beauty school in January of 1992. During these years of my life, drugs and alcohol, as well as other rebellious behavior became the daily norm. It is what I knew; it was what was modeled to me. But something was missing. I married my best friend Shawn on June 11, 1994. Shawn was the first friend I made in Washington. We were 19 years old when we got married. We didn’t know God then, but as I look back I see so clearly God’s hand in our life. Our first son, Austin, came early and was stillborn; somehow we made it through that rough time. We went on to have two more handsome boys, Noah who is now 13 and Shawn Jr. who is 10. That’s when God came and met me where I was at. I was a stay at home mom and feeling sort of isolated. A woman in the grocery store invited me to MOPS. It was in this group that I saw the face of God. The women there loved me where I was at and accepted me for who I was, and believe me; I was rough around the edges to say the
lost & FOUND
Josh Hinman Executive Director least. It didn’t take me long to come around to the idea of a Savior. Love, Acceptance, Grace, Mercy, and most of all Forgiveness! Yep, I needed all that! This is what I had been missing! It has been ten years now that I have been growing in my relationship with Jesus. After two faithful years my prayers were answered! My wonderful husband Shawn humbly accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior as well. What a glorious day that was. After some heartfelt deliberation, we decided our family wasn’t complete. We now have a beautiful 6 year old daughter, Olivia Joy. God has done amazing things for us as a family and our only desire is to serve Him as He calls us. So, why Campus Life? Because God has called me here! Proverbs 20:24 say’s “A man’s steps are directed by the Lord.” I didn’t go out searching for a job; God directed my steps that led me to this ministry. He knows the burden on my heart for young people. How would my life have changed if I had been invited to a CL club when I was in school? My desire is that each student will have the opportunity to know God long before I did. I am not a college graduate or a Bible scholar. I am a daughter of the most high God, saved by grace. My tools are the Word of God, The Holy Spirit, and My Story. I am the North Mason Campus Life Director. My mission is to reach every young person in North Mason with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
spring break ROADTRIP
Every young person…
By Phil Daubenspeck, Campus Life Director
yfc wish LIST • • • • • • • • • •
Digital Cameras New or used iPods Gift cards/gas cards 15 - 20 padded folding chairs Diapers (all sizes) Baby wipes New or lightly used laptop Lateral, legal size, two drawer locking file cabinet Shelving & storage bins Pre-packaged snacks, juice packs, granola bars, etc.
If you would like to donate any of the above items please contact us at 360.779.9929 or email@example.com
It was 7:30 a.m. on Monday of spring break. The students were barely awake when they pulled into the driveway and we began to load up the vans. We said a quick prayer and we were off on a two-day road trip. From Port Orchard we chose the back roads, through Belfair and Shelton, down into Portland. We stopped at a doughnut shop that is featured on the travel channel, ate lunch at the Waterfront Park, made a quick stop at the mall and then off to Multnomah Falls where we hiked to a couple different falls. Next stop was a park on the Columbia River by The Dalles, then Hermiston where we stayed the night at a Campus Life youth center. The next day we returned through Toppenish, Yakima and finally Snoqualmie Falls. In only 36 hours we made 10 stops. At each stop we had a short talk about God, His Creation and His love for us! After we left Multnomah Falls, Tim called from the back of the van, “So how did God create everything?” Another guy responded, “In the beginning of the Bible, it say’s He spoke and each day He created something new”— surprising all of us that he understood God’s word. At the next stop, I picked up on that theme and gave them each a copy of the Gospel of John, the YFC version with stories to go along with the parables Jesus told. I asked them each to pick a story and read it, along with the corresponding Bible verses and No one expects IBM, Microsoft or Apple to pool By Maudi Newman, Campus Life Director their resources and work together. Nor do we see McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell pitching in to do things together. Yet YFC’s Collaborative Community Strategy is one of the five essential elements to ministry stating “We intentionally work together with churches, agencies and other like minded partners to provide sustainable youth and family ministry.”
This year, the economic climate produced challenges that encouraged, more than ever, my partnering with other local ministries. Last year for our Veteran’s Day trip we had to find scholarship funds for over 30% of the attendees. At that time, I recognized my second challenge would come at spring break—our biggest trip time of the year—so I brainstormed for a more inexpensive way to hangout: Should we just do a slumber party, a day at the gym, or a place to play video games, as well as a county wide paintball trip? No, we needed something more, something different, something where every student could have a good time. I needed to work together with my Christian community because we needed a common place to play—a place where girls like Natalie could fit in. In February, I brought my brainstorming ideas to the Youth Pastors of the area. Answering the call, youth leaders from four different churches rallied their workers and students together to host an ultimate “Hang Out” style event at the First Baptist Church. As a result, students from Hood Canal, Grapeview, Pioneer Intermediary, Shelton Christian, Choice, Olympic Middle and Oakland Bay came
then relate those verses to their lives. That session went on for 2 hours with the kids interacting and obviously catching on to how God’s story relates to their everyday lives! At our last stop the kids wrote letters to God—no rules, just whatever was on their mind. When they were done a couple of the kids gave us their letters. I felt like I was like looking deep into Sally’s soul as I read, “God, I love my sister and I want her to stop hurting herself. You have given me so many chances and I want her to know you like I do.” Another one wrote “Dear God, please help me control my Lust, Hatred, and Anger. I will try to serve you.” At the teen center we split the guys and girls up so we could dive into more personal issues. The guys brought up different struggles such as parents, school, girls, and porn. “I like boobs and I want to know what they look like,” said one of the guys. “It doesn’t help when girls seem to shove them in my face!” They shared their desire not to think about that stuff constantly and how hard of a struggle it is to keep their minds under control. We were able to pray with them and encourage them to give those
NEW LOOK AND NAME As you can see, West Sound YFC is experiencing a facelift. Our name has changed, our look is new, but our focus is still the same. We are 100% committed to sharing the Gospel with every young person, one at a time!
things to God and let Him help. We urged those who didn’t have a relationship with Jesus to invite Him into their lives. One girl came to know Christ and several others aren’t quite ready to jump in, but are closer now than ever. Please pray that the Lord will continue to work in their lives and that He would reveal Himself to them daily.
together for an afternoon of fun where they were served by student leaders from Shelton High. Shelton Community Youth and Campus Life students intermingled with kids from church youth groups. It began with kids being a bit tentative, more likely nervous, but by the end of the day 65+ students had made new friends and enjoyed themselves thoroughly. It was like a huge party: •
Sharon and Carrie were at the Soda Fountain, giggling with former classmates who they discovered were at the hangout with their Youth Group.
Four school friends quietly broke out a board game and were quickly joined by Sue, an adult who worked with a couple of them when they attended Youth Group for the first time a couple months back.
I found two of my young leaders teaching some Campus Life students the finer arts of “Dance Dance Revolution” on the Wii.
It was news to me, but apparently my son is one of Mason County’s greatest Ping Pong player and kids from all over were lined up to beat him. Finally, a Christian school PE teacher just barely managed to best him.
My other son grabbed a couple friends from the community and played 3-3 basketball, almost winning the tournament.
Then, as I wandered through the rooms filled with Wii batters, Rock Band strummers and drummers, I started to look for quiet and shy Natalie. As I entered one of the last rooms, I found her playing Guitar Hero and “rocking out” with a new friend. While planning this event, unbeknownst to Natalie, she was our standard. We strategized on the best version of Dodge ball to play so even Natalie’s wheelchair could be an asset, not a detriment. We even made sure the Sodas, Popcorn and Pizzas were all centrally located and easily accessible. Seeing Natalie, who at one time attended Campus Life and now drops in on Shelton Community Youth Night, have a great time sealed the deal for me. Yes, working together is the best way to reach every young person, one at a time.
NEW WEB SIT E Take a look! With a more contemporary, sleek design and user friendly options, we hope you’re going to love the changes. Check it regularly as we continue to update the content. www.westsoundyfc.org
NEW E-NEWS LETTER Go to our website, www.westsoundyfc.org and sign up for regular e-newsletter updates. If you want shorter, more frequent updates, then this is for you!
By Deanne Montgomery, ILS Director
Casey came to Independent Living Skills (ILS) about a year ago. He had lived in an abandoned car with his mother for a couple years. But then one day his mother left and did not return. Even as a child he could work for what he needed and so fending for himself was just the next step. When he came to ILS he wanted to “be somebody.” Week after week Casey met with me, craving information on becoming successfully independent—his “ultimate dream.” We helped him find his first job and apartment but Casey said he felt alone and lost. “Isn’t there something more?” he asked. When love is the answer it is clear to me where to look but not for Casey, a young man blinded with the drive and desire to succeed. Unfortunately, Casey wants more than anything to be loved.
I shared with him about hope and love but he just couldn’t see how any of this applied to him. Casey went on to search for the “something more,” but in unhealthy relationships with friends, girlfriends and even alternative lifestyles trying to find ‘love’. He connected with a long lost sister he had never known; until that relationship fell apart too. He came back to ILS with a chip on his shoulder but a fire in his belly to make it—once again to “be somebody.” After a couple of trainings he decided he needed to do some things different. I reminded him that there was hope for him and he was not alone. At 19 Casey has found a new job, is clean and sober, and lives in his own apartment fully supported by his own paycheck. But the really neat part—he is pursuing activities in the community for young adults; all of which are affiliated with local churches. Casey
My name is Anna. I’m 19 years old and I grew up in foster care. I was using drugs at 15 and rebelling in every way I could. I was pregnant at 16. I knew because of my choices I would not be allowed to keep my baby so I placed my daughter for adoption. I had a lot of challenges in the next couple of years and when I turned 18, I was ready to be on my own – at least I thought. I made the decision that in order to go places in my life I needed to get clean. I have worked hard at recovery and have been clean for 2+ years. I met a guy that promised me the world and we moved in together. Everything was good for awhile, until I came home to find him using. He assaulted me and broke my arm. I called the police, filed a restraining order, and have been trying to pick up the pieces and figure where to go from there. Two weeks later, I found out I was pregnant. My friends thought I should abort, but somewhere inside me I knew I wanted to have this baby. I had given my daughter away and while I don’t regret that, I knew this was a second chance. I found Teen Parents when I was 4 months pregnant. I shared with Nancy after a group meeting about how this was not the plan I had for my life and if I had this to do over again, I wouldn’t have gotten pregnant
may not yet understand the love that he desperately needs. But he is certainly headed in the right direction.
anna’s STORY By Nancy Kuhuski, Teen Parents Director
right now. She told me God has a plan for each of our lives and even when things happen that we don’t plan for, God can use it for good. I had never really thought about life in that way before, but it made some sense. I knew that if it had not been for being pregnant I probably wouldn’t be clean now. I told Nancy my biggest fear is that I’ll mess this whole thing up and my child will end up just like me. I gave birth alone. I called Nancy as soon as my son was born and she came and saw me at the hospital. She even brought her camera and took Jackson’s first pictures! Since coming to Teen Parents, I have found a place to belong. The people seem to understand me and believe in me. I am even going to attend Olympic College in the fall. ♦♦♦
Anna is close to my heart and a joy to work with. She still faces plenty of challenges, but she is trying to be the best mama she can be. She is really seeking to find out who this God person is - she doesn’t understand yet, but I know God is drawing her. He has a plan for her life and I can’t wait to see her find out what that is!
...One at a time
trying to find LOVE