YOUTH FOR CHRIST Winter Newsletter 2012
From Long Island Youth for Christ What does every young person want for Christmas? No, I am not talking about the latest “iGadget”. They want something much more valuable. In a day and age when it seems like people can get whatever they want, I know there are still needs that should be met in a young person’s life. Most young people today are in search of something real. Yes I know that sounds ambiguous, but it is true. They want real relationships with people they can count on. Most have been let down and disappointed. A parent has left them, a teacher has spoken negatively, or a friend has cut them off. Maybe it doesn't seem like a big deal, but most people today are hoping for someone they can depend on. At Long Island Youth for Christ we try to be that person. We want students to recognize the good influences they have in their lives and we want to be another person they can depend on. We want to build trust with them so we can be there for them when they need help. Young people want real adventure. Most young people are bored. That is often why they get into trouble. They are seeking for something to make them feel excited. Youth for Christ shows them that real adventure comes from following Christ whole-heartedly, whether it comes from starting a Christian club or going on a ski trip or mission trip. True adventure comes from following God’s direction daily. We see young people grab hold of this idea and run with it. It is truly remarkable. Young people want a real encounter with God. They want to see God do the incredible acts that we read about in the Bible. To read about them is not enough. They want to see it, and they are. The ones who get it are trusting in God to do what God promises He will do. They are watching God heal, and bring restoration and reconciliation. They are trusting God to transform their lives and He is. We are offering young people exactly what they are looking for. Something Real. ~ Craig Muller
Cam Long Island Youth for Christ – Winter Newsletter 2012
Campus Life Clubs Great Neck – Binu Thomas
Campus life has met at the Community Church of Great Neck for the last three years. It has seen tremendous growth and God is using it to bless many students in the area.
Great Neck – Clai Williams Clai has taken charge of the High School Club while Binu supervises and oversees the Middle School Club. This addition makes this already strong site, stronger.
Port Washington –Craig Muller The oldest Campus Life club on the Island is still going strong. Ministering to students for 11 years God has continued to use this site to change lives.
Port Washington –Kathy Beltran
A student, Bobby, has been bugging me to take him out to eat. I finally did and
The CLM club has never been better. Kathy has run this club for the past two years and is seeing God do incredible work in the lives of the students. CLM is the place to be Friday nights in Port.
Bohemia – Rayna Kavanaugh Bohemia continues to thrive. The club is reaching out to students who need a place to be themselves and find God.
Babylon – Stephanie Eggers This is our best-‐attended Campus Life program. Steff has served the Babylon area well for nine years. Each week students come to their home away from home to grow closer to God and each other.
Babylon – Kaitlyn Keating Kaitlyn has taken charge of the CLM club in Babylon. The club is blessed to have her and has shown great growth. This is an energetic bunch that has formed great relationships.
Mastic – Chase Trusnovec This club has finally found a permanent home at Grace Lutheran Church in Mastic. It has been wonderful to have consistency for the students. God is doing a great work in the lives of the students at club.
Riverhead – Dondi Rollins
This is our newest club. It is still in its first stages of growth, but has shown potential to be a strong site for years to come.
that night turned out to be much more than a late night Taco Bell run. For two hours I sat with Bobby in his driveway as he poured out his heart to me and asked question upon question about God and the Bible. I have known for some time now that Bobby has been growing in his interest and conviction in the Word of God, but what I was hearing tonight was something completely different. I can’t explain in words how impressed I was with what God has done with this young man’s heart. Somehow I just knew with all of my heart that this young man was going to give his heart completely over to the Lord. Then it happened, amidst the pouring rain and lightning outside my car, Bobby gave his heart to Jesus. I have known Bobby for about five years now and I can say truly he is a new creation in Christ. Who he was and who he is now are completely different. Bobby has so many questions and concerns about the Father. Please pray for him as he takes his first steps on the narrow path! ~ Chase Trusnovec 2
Cam Long Island Youth for Christ – Winter Newsletter 2012
Campus Life Changing Lives
Jonathan has been changed forever. Check out his story below I first heard about Campus Life through my friends Matthew and Andrew. They told me to come down and see how I liked it. I have to admit I was nervous that maybe no one would like me. I remember meeting each leader that first night. They were so nice and made me feel at home, each in their own way. Then I met Stephanie. I remember we were doing a lesson at the end. After hearing the way she communicated with us kids, I knew right then that I was going to love her. She loves being there for all of us.
I started going every week and soon I made a lot of good friends and have met a lot of wonderful people. That summer I went with the group to Wildwood NJ. It was the best week of my life. God came into my life on that trip. I will never forget that moment. I made even more friends there! Before Campus Life I didn’t really have friends, maybe just one or two. Now that I’ve been there for over two and a half years I have a lot of friends and I have to thank Campus Life for that. Now I have a new family that always has my back. Every week comes different lessons. Every week comes new adventures. I’m very proud to be a part of CL!
City Life City Life is Long Island Youth for Christ’s newest core ministry. Last year we launched our first City Life site in Central Islip. Lighthouse Tabernacle, under the direction of Pastor Fox, has welcomed us into their facility to run this ministry. Lighthouse Tabernacle elder John Jerome has supplied us with qualified tutors from the church who work at Brentwood Community College. The students have quickly bought into the program. More and more students come each week for fellowship, tutoring, basketball and lessons from God’s word. We already have been able to have a wonderful impact on their lives. Board member and driving force behind City Life, Steve Leondis, has inspired the community to rally behind the students and this ministry. It is exciting to see what God is doing!
Youth Pastor Networks
We are working together! Each month YFC meets with youth pastors at three different network meetings in Suffolk, Nassau and the East End. There are over 30 youth pastors that attend. In these meetings we learn from each other how to serve the youth of Long Island better. The primary focus of each network is to encourage one another and learn from each other. We cheer each other on for the successes and pray for each other in our failures. We also use these meetings to work together. Last year each network ran a student discipleship day called RISE. RISE is a day of worship and seminars to help students move to new heights in their relationship with God. This year’s focus is peer evangelism. We plan to build off last year’s momentum and reach even more students this winter. We are better together! 3
Cam Long Island Youth for Christ – Winter Newsletter 2012
Friend2Friend empowers, equips and mobilizes students to make a difference in their schools and community for Christ. This year we have seen an overwhelming response from students wanting to start school Christian clubs and share their faith with their friends. If you would like to learn more about Christian clubs on Long Island or you want to become a prayer partner please contact us at email@example.com or go to our website www.liyfc.org.
Suffolk County F2F
Four months ago there wasn’t a Suffolk County Friend2Friend Ministry -‐ but that doesn’t mean there weren’t clubs already in place and thriving. Central Islip High School’s Searchlight Bible Club has been in existence since 1998 -‐ making this year their 14th year! Recently, Searchlight took on the daunting and rewarding task of celebrating National Prayer Day in their high school. They gathered together around the flagpole and prayed for each other and the students of their school. Susie, a member of Searchlight, says, “It was great! We got to pray for each other and others. And we’re hoping to do it again soon.” Kevin, the Club president said, “We planted countless number of seeds the day we did the prayer stand.” They may not know the students who started this club 14 years ago but a legacy is continuing… As we look at moving forward this year, the progress isn’t just seen in the legacy left by existing clubs, but also in the progress of clubs still trying to start up. Valerie of East Islip High School is in her senior year and God has not opened up a door for a club to begin at her school. However, this year she is working with two freshmen students to get a club started out of her home. This is the first step to beginning a club that will last beyond her years in high school. A legacy is beginning… God is truly faithful.
CONNECT:YFC’s Student Leader Network It has now been one year since we kicked off CONNECT: YFC's Student Leader Network in Nassau County! A typical Christian teenager on Long Island often feels isolated and alone as they try to live out a Godly lifestyle. However, through CONNECT’s monthly meetings we give student leaders from different Christian Clubs, churches, and towns the opportunity to “connect” with one another as Christians. Each month we meet at a different church in Nassau County, have a lesson or discussion, play games and eat lunch together. It is not only helping to connect students together, but also bring youth pastors and churches together as well. If you know of a church that would be willing to host a future “CONNECT” meeting, please email Emma at ERucci@LIYFC.org.
Cam Long Island Youth for Christ – Winter Newsletter 2012 This year, because of one student’s dream to impact her school and world for Christ, Syosset High School’s Christian Club hosted their first school-‐wide fundraising event called “Hoops of Hope”. During her junior year, Rachel, the leader at Syosset High School’s Christian Club, Friend2Friend Staff: could only hope and pray that her school’s ~ Emma Rucci Christian club could one day participate in ~ Danielle Dantona “Hoops of Hope”, a basketball shoot-‐a-‐thon ~ Heather Chereb that raises money for children affected by AIDS. It ~ Binu Thomas seemed as if it was an impossible task, going to the administration and asking permission to host a school-‐wide Christian fundraiser! Yet Rachel did not let go of her God-‐given dream, and so all through her junior year she prayed God would make this a reality. Now as a senior, she is seeing God make this dream come true. It has been exciting to watch the Christian Club leaders organize and plan this event. I have seen God give tremendous courage to the leaders to stand for their faith in their school while they go before students and administration for approval. I have also seen God move as each roadblock to hosting this event is removed from their path. It is amazing to see students dream and then have their dreams realized by God’s help. At Youth for Christ we have a saying “impact young people today so they lead the world tomorrow”. These students are our future Christian leaders, and I am proud to walk alongside them on their journey.
We need your support
I’d like to ask you to consider giving a special year-‐end gift towards the ministry of YFC. It is no secret that for some, times have been tough. I am so thankful for all of those who continue to give to LIYFC because they believe in this ministry. We have 12 ministry staff that have dedicated their time, energy and love to our mission. Without your support they cannot reach the youth of Long Island. Show them your support. Stand behind them as they go. Send a year-‐end gift that will remind them they are not alone, that you are with them. Thank you and may God bless you always. Send in your response card with your gift or visit www.liyfc.org to donate today.
Thank you for your prayers and for considering Youth for Thank y ou f or y our p rayers a nd f or c onsidering Y outh f or C hrist a s w e r each o ut t o Christ as we reach out to the hurting and the lost. have seen Long Island hit hard the past few We years by the economy, but nothing hit harder than Hurricane Sandy. As an organization that exists solely on the contributions of individuals and churches, events like this can be crippling. Praise God for people like you who continue to support us no matter what. We have a mission that we aim to continue to
meet. We will always be about sharing the gospel with young people. We do that relationally. This season we have been able to use our gifts to be there for those who have lost so much. We have always been committed to social involvement. Our staff has stretched themselves to serve those in need and organize young people to serve also. We are proud to be LIYFC. Thank you for standing with us!
YFC reaches young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other like-minded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus who lead by their godliness in lifestyle, devotion to the Word of God and prayer, passion for sharing the love of Christ and commitment to social involvement.
All of us at Long Island Youth for Christ want to wish you and your families a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. We hope that you will celebrate with joy the most wonderful gift ever given, our Savior Jesus Christ. It is our pleasure to be able to share this good news with young people every day. Pray for us as we celebrate this season with our students. For some it will be the first time they hear of God’s great love for them. For them it will be the first time they are given an opportunity to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The story of Jesus coming to earth on Christmas is no fairy tale. It is the hope of the world. We are excited to share that hope with every student we work with this Christmas. Thank you for supporting the mission of Youth for Christ, every kid… one at a time!
Long Island Youth for Christ 1775 New York Ave Huntington Station NY 11746
Website: www.liyfc.org phone: 631.385.8333 email: firstname.lastname@example.org