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CHECK OUT the Team!


Annual Spring REview By Eric Scofield, Senior Vice President Southwestern Divison



The Southwestern Divisional Digest, I know, it’s a lot to take in. Yet, in another way it’s not. You see, what I really want is to meet you at the very top of the Southwestern Division — say, Eric, Marni, let’s meet in Sacramento, and then a few days later we will Hudson and Charlie finish up on the beach in Maui. In the middle, we would have gone to and attempted to digest all that our incredible team is up to around the Southwestern Division — and it’s a lot! I know that this is nearly impossible, so instead, I have some small excerpts of what is happening around the division in the last year. It’s the annual spring review — the Southwestern Divisional Digest. “So, naturally, we proclaim Christ! We warn everyone we meet, and we teach everyone we can, all that we know about him, so that, if possible, we may bring every man up to his full maturity in Christ. This is what I am working at all the time, with all the strength that God gives me” (Colossians 1:28-29). As you “fly over” the division, you need to know that (a) there’s a lot going on, but, (b) there is a lot of room for growth! Please pray that we can keep “working at [this] all of the time” because it is a great mission!












YL Camping

WL Camping









Leaders Campaigners

As you digest all that is happening in the pages that follow, know that this is not everything — it’s a quick snapshot of what God is doing. It is very clear to me that we need all of the partners, friends, prayer teams, committees, leaders and supporters we can get. It’s a daunting task — but it is so worth it! Thanks for taking the flyover with me! Let’s start digesting! Eric Scofield Senior Vice President Southwestern Division 858-248-1133 (m)


Young Lives By Emilie Schreiber, YoungLives Divisional Coordinator Huntington Beach YoungLives Club.


od’s movement in YoungLives has birthed new clubs — from 22 areas in the Southwest to 32! Valentine’s Day marked the first YoungLives club in Las Vegas and Feb. 27 began club in Porterville, Calif. We are also moving with new ministries in San Jose, Oahu, Ramona, Oceanside, Chino Valley, Santa Clarita, and Hollywood. This is a 45 percent growth. YoungLives regional coordinators have doubled. Emilie Schreiber even moved from Oregon to the Southcoast Region to serve in that capacity and to continue in the role as the divisional coordinator for the Southwest Division. One hundred thirteen women (and three men) spent the weekend at Oakbridge for the YoungLives Southwestern and Northwestern Divisional Summit. There were 48 representatives from the Southwestern Division. God is on the move in YoungLives camping. In the summer of 2013, we experienced a 10 percent growth, and already our 2014 R1 number is 11 percent higher than last year’s R1.

“We are also moving with new ministries in San Jose, Oahu, Ramona, Oceanside, Chino Valley, Santa Clarita, and Hollywood. This is a 45 percent growth.” 23

New Mexico/El Paso Region By Scott Didrickson, Regional Director


od has moved New Mexico and El Paso into its own region, and we are thrilled about it! You have helped us reach wide and deep in this remote part of the world by your prayers and support. Thank you! The move is happening in our biggest city, El Paso. This incredible city of 900,000 people is developing great Young Life. In the last year, El Paso has added a new club, 14 new leaders, and a committee. This may not sound like a whole lot, but for years our area director, Kim Prieto, has labored without any staff or committee, and to have this kind of growth and support is a real shot in the arm. We can’t wait to watch God move in the new committee’s vision to hire new staff and reach kids at more schools. Thank you for praying for El Paso! God is also moving in the biggest city in New Mexico! Albuquerque Young Life continues to grow and to build on its vision to have a Young Life presence in each of our 15 high schools. We are currently in eight schools (up from four in 2009), and have a great plan in place to double the number of kids we take to camp this summer. God has laid it on our hearts to take 300 kids from Albuquerque to camp in 2014, and we are working and praying hard toward that goal.


Young Life College is moving into the University of New Mexico this fall! There are so many strategic reasons to bring Young Life to UNM’s campus in Albuquerque, but most importantly, we

Leaders at our First Mission Community Weekend. want UNM students to meet Christ. The campus has very little Christian presence, and we can’t wait to meet UNM students and introduce them to Jesus. We are in the process of hiring a staff associate, Sarah Worland, who will partner with some great adults in the UNM community to begin Young Life College. Growth at UNM will help us grow throughout our great state, and we can’t wait to watch that happen. Go Lobos! Small town ministry will be a big part of reaching more kids in New Mexico, and our first movement in this is happening in Farmington, N.M. This community of about 40,000 is the key city in the northwest part of our state. It is the hub of a thriving natural gas industry and has influence over all the other small towns in that region. We have two great men who have rallied adults, leaders and kids together over the last eight months. We are currently doing one club a month in Farmington in hopes of introducing kids to Christ, giving them a vision for inviting their friends, and getting them excited about going to camp this summer! We believe that if we can take 10-15 kids to camp, it will give us momentum to start weekly club next school year. Please pray for great influence in Farmington!

Young Life College By John Byard, College Director


oung Life College is continuing to grow rapidly across the Southwest! The Lord is developing a love for college students across our division. We know in our minds and believe in our hearts that the changing power of Christ is needed now more than ever on our college campuses. We continue to go after one college student at a time with a threepronged approach. We want to REACH out to lost, disinterested college students with the Good News of Christ. This is nothing new; it’s traditional Young Life lived out in the university setting. Second, we strive to help BUILD students in their faith. Through small and large groups, Bible studies and leadership training, students are growing and learning how to give their faith away. Finally, we want to LAUNCH students into ministry. We desire to prepare students to invest in the lives of others by actively placing them onto high school, WyldLife, Capernaum, and YoungLives teams.

God is on the move in the South Coast Region. Five years ago there weren’t any active Young Life College ministries; currently, there are seven college campuses being reached. No other region in the country has seen that kind of growth in the same time period. Thousands of college students have been influenced for Christ. This is seen most evidently in the region’s leadership weekend numbers, which have grown from 95 to 400 over the last five years. The Arizona region continues to reach college students in droves. With six active ministries, it boasts the largest club-toministry average. Fall college weekend at Lost Canyon is close to 400 students, and their annual spring Mexico house-building trip is actively participated in by a number of ministries. Greater Los Angeles is on the verge of some tremendous new growth. With active ministries at Cal Lutheran and University

Young Life College Leaders. of Southern California, they are ready to branch out to UCLA this fall. All three of these ministries have the potential to reach thousands of influential future leaders for the surrounding areas. Central California continues to be a focus area with incredible potential. Area Director Johnny May has a great College Community gathering in San Luis Obispo and is reaching many students. UCSB and Fresno State are focus schools we are praying to move into in the next year. The recent Young Life College start-up at Santa Clara University in the Bay area joins the already great work being done at San Francisco State. With San Jose State, Stanford, Sonoma State, and Cal Berkley in the region, there is exciting room to grow. The Northern California/Hawaii/Great Basin region has two active ministries. God is specifically on the move in the Great Basin part of the region with possible startups at University of Redlands, UNLV and University of Nevada. Mark Fordney is actively engaged in Young Life College and could not be more excited to reach college students for Christ. The New Mexico/El Paso Region is set for some big moves in the near future. We are looking to re-start the University of New Mexico this year. UTEP and New Mexico State have the potential to create a pipeline of Latino leadership, making this a key leadership position that will benefit the entire division.


Northern California/NeVada and Hawaii Regions By Randy Jackson, Regional Director three kids currently in school there. She is excited to begin club with her four volunteer leaders and two committee folks. They are meeting for prayer and will start club in March and take kids to Woodleaf this summer.


im Rayburn, the founder of Young Life, began Young Life with a motto: “Christ is Life.” He believed the kind of life kids were looking for was found in a Person, not things or ideas. Furthermore, since God has offered His Life (Christ) to them, they have the right to know about Him. So Jim had to get busy and talk to kids about Him. The second thing he had to do was to get them willing to listen. The staff and volunteers in Northern California, Nevada and Hawaii are still “called” and motivated by “Christ is Life” and that kids have a “right” to know Him. The dream is that every community would have a group of people who are trying to find out how to get young people to listen to the most wonderful message in the world. So we pray to the Lord, respond to Him and follow through as He directs. Below are a few of the places where He has and is moving. We opened Napa, Calif., this past year and have staffed it with a wonderful young couple, Will and Caitie Nesbitt. Vintage High had its first club in February. Go Crushers!


We were contacted by Lori, a 25-year resident of Winnemucca, Nev., with

Elicia Giffin responded to a posted job opening on the Young Life website for a college staff person at the University of Redlands. She lives 16 miles from Redlands, and her husband met Jesus through Young Life. She was a volunteer in Redding, Calif., and has a burden for college kids. She will join the staff around July 1. Several people asked us to start WyldLife in Eureka/Arcata, Calif., (Humboldt County). We had 11 excited people join us for our leadercommittee weekend at Woodleaf. They were wonderful! We will conduct a “Jump Start” in Eureka in March to determine where we go next. Tobin, a youth pastor and a volunteer leader for Young Life in Arizona, moved back to his home town of Sonora, Calif., and wanted to start Young Life there. He has started raising money and forming a local committee. Emily Nantz will be moving from her student staff position in Knoxville, Tenn., to Oahu, Hawaii, this summer to begin staff training with Area Director Brady Giusta. Here is what Emily said, “I feel called to the ‘rougher crowds,’ the teen moms, the fighters and the abandoned. I deeply love and believe in high school kids, and I love the way Young Life loves and believes in high school kids.”

Capernaum By John Pantellas, Divisional Coordinator Southwestern Division

Northern California Capernaum Training.


apernaum is on the move in the Southwestern Division! We are growing in the number of ministries and the numbers of students, staff, and volunteer leaders within each ministry. In 2013, new Capernaum ministries began in the San Jose, Phoenix and San Diego areas. The development process has begun to start up 16 new Capernaum ministries in 2014 in the Southwestern Division. The Capernaum week at Lost Canyon in 2013 was a life-changing week for the Capernaum campers, work crew, summer staff, assignment team, and high school buddies who came to serve during the week. This Capernaum week had a profound impact on the high school buddies to go home to serve and influence their schools, communities and Young Life clubs in regard to ministry with students with disabilities.

Beyond Capernaum camp at Oakbridge had another fantastic week of fun and inspiration. It was truly a blessing for all. It looks like these camps will be full again for the summer of 2014. There were two separate Capernaum training days in the division in 2014. Forty Capernaum staff and volunteer leaders attended the Southern California training day, and 50 Capernaum staff and volunteer leaders attended the Northern California day. The staff and volunteers who attended were so thankful for the days and said that these times were extremely valuable. They walked away feeling encouraged, equipped and inspired. We are excited for the next Capernaum training day to be held in Phoenix in March for the Capernaum staff and volunteer leaders from Arizona.

“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” — Matthew 25:40 6

Women’s Leadership Network and Divisional Training By Donna Hatasaki, Divisional Training/Women’s Leadership Network


he Southwestern Division Women’s Leadership Network (WLN) met for its first-annual retreat in Santa Barbara in January. Regional representatives included: Jen Tiffan (Northern California/ Nevada Region); Jamie Lisea (Gold Coast Region); Robin Heffernan (Greater Los Angeles Region); Sullivan Saunders (Southcoast Region); Lee-Anne Allman (Arizona Region); Kim Prieto (New Mexico and El Paso Region); and the SWD WLN coordinator, Donna Hatasaki (San Francisco Bay Region). On temporary personal leave from the WLN is Audrey Blomgren (San Francisco Bay Region). The mission of the WLN is to attract, network with and develop staff women and to help create healthy partnerships between men and women at each level of leadership in the mission. At the retreat, the regional reps worked on developing skills necessary for their roles, surveyed the needs of women in their regions, and began creating strategic plans for fulfilling the WLN mission. In addition, the women spent significant time praying for staff women in the division, along with regional directors and senior leadership. Our goal for the next few months is to listen well to the Lord and listen well to Young Life staff women and see what begins to unfold.


Southwestern Division WLN Regional Representatives.

“ . . . The women spent significant time praying for staff women in the division, along with regional directors and senior leadership.”

Southcoast Region By Kristy Fox, Regional Director

New Capernaum Club in Rancho Bernardo.


od is always on the move. How blessed we are to get to join Him! We have been encouraged in the Southcoast Region to get pictures of what the Lord is doing and to see Him very evidently on the move calling people to Himself. What a blessing that we get to be a part of it all. God is on the move in weekend camping. We saw a 31 percent increase in weekend camping in our region! For example, college weekend was up 67 students and WyldLife had 74 more students than last year. God is on the move in our Capernaum clubs. One of our staff, Tobias, took the three Capernaum clubs in their all-Capernaum area and gave them away to the areas that were closest in proximity to where the students lived. The areas “absorbed” these Capernaum clubs, and it has significantly had an impact on all of those areas in beautiful ways. Tobias is now focused as a Capernaum developer for our region, and his desire is to encourage, develop, grow and help sustain Capernaum ministry in our region. Since this new focus began, we have already seen three new Capernaum ministries start in our region!

God is on the move in our YoungLives. In Huntington Beach, we have a wonderful woman named Myrna doing ministry. A year-and-a-half ago, she stood up at a school and made an announcement, offering a place for teen moms to come and be welcomed. Twelve girls signed up. Fast-forward to today — Myrna has 40 teen moms, 15 boyfriends, and lots of little ones attending club and going to camp. Mryna and her committee are now looking to grow into neighboring Santa Ana and step into this city that has more than 250 teen moms in their school system. God is on the move in new area growth. We are praying for the staff, volunteers and funds to come through for start-ups in Ladera Ranch, Brea/Yorba Linda, La Jolla and East County. These communities are ready for Young Life! God is on the move in new staff. We are training six new associates and have hired 18 new parttime staff this year! God is on the move in committees. We recently hosted three committee chair breakfasts across the region. We have 23 committee chairs recruited, trained and empowered to support their local areas.


California Central Region By Rob Crawford, Regional Director


am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful� (John 15:1-2). I have lived in John 15 for a few months. It has been a tremendous source of challenge and encouragement in my role as regional director of the Central California Region. Verses one and two have been particularly encouraging in light of the fact that one year ago today every area in our region was staffed with an area director. As of Jan. 1, 2014, we had five areas either without area directors or with area directors on the way out. What could be overwhelming for our team has turned into a sense of anticipation and excitement. God is indeed on the move in our region through the pruning of our staff. We are seeing God move, first of all, as each of these areas gets stronger. The adults in the community have risen to the task. They are praying, giving, planning and dreaming for the future of kids in their communities. It has been so encouraging to sit in living rooms in Fresno, Visalia, Santa Maria, Camarillo and Santa Barbara with volunteers committed to reaching kids with the Gospel. Secondly, He has already answered our prayers in Santa Barbara! We will welcome Dave Peterson this summer, who has been serving on Young Life staff in South Carolina. We believe he is the perfect fit for this area.


Our new area director in Santa Barbara, Dave Peterson. Third, our areas that do have staff are thriving! Every area is in a surplus, which means our staff can focus on developing leaders to reach lost kids. We are projected to take 12-15 percent more kids to camp this summer, which would set a new record for our region. We are reaching nearly 4000 more kids this year than we did last year. Fourth, we are filling our pipeline. We have six people going through our staff associate training. Two of these trainees are starting ministry in new communities. We also have 36 leaders going through our Experience Training Program. Many of these folks are on our radar to be the next staff associates in our region. God is indeed on the move in the Central California Region, and it is our privilege to join Him on the journey!

Arizona Region By Chris Eaton, Regional Director


od is on the move in Arizona! This fall, we set an ambitious goal to grow Arizona Young Life from 39,000 kids reached for Christ to 50,000 in three years. By Dec. 31, 2016, we will have grown our reach by 20 percent.

All-Area club (above) and all full-time Arizona staff.

The first stage of our strategy is to establish • Latino Ministry: While we have a strong 40-year history of reaching urban a team that is capable of such a goal. We kids in Arizona, we are amidst a seismic have established several teams that are demographic change in Arizona. We are advancing Young Life in Arizona: projected to be a majority Latino state • Regional Staff: Rick Wison, in the coming years and are working to associate regional director; Daniel create a strong pipeline of exceptional Sanders, our part-time Multicultural and staff and leaders to meet this challenge. Urban director; LeeAnn Allman, our We are setting a goal of 10 full-time Women’s Leadership representative; and Latino staff in three years and six new Chris Eaton provide the core regional ministries in majority Latino high leadership that ensures we are growing schools. in a healthy way across all fronts. • Volunteer Leaders: While we • Regional Leadership Team: have 1,000 amazing volunteer Young Life The regional staff is joined by eight other leaders in Arizona, we recognize that the senior area directors and board members average lifespan of a leader is only three to form the RLT. Everyone on this team years. In that, we have to recruit, train, holds a flag for the region — WyldLife, and replace more than 300 leaders a year College, Capernaum, YoungLives — and to stay even. We are working to “close works to ensure that we are marching the back door” on this and extend the toward our goal in a united and aligned average life of a volunteer by one year way by providing new levels of training and investment into volunteer leaders. • Regional Board: Our board is committed to advancing this goal and • Area Funding: We are working mission, growing a strong community in across the state to equip area committees Christ, and to ensuring the overall health to fund their budgets with 70 percent of Young Life in Arizona. Everyone on monthly giving. the board also serves on a project team • Camping: While we take more than and is dedicated to another goal — 5,000 kids to camp annually, we want raising $3,000,000 in growth funding to to establish a $12,000,000 Legacy Fund fuel our goal of making an impact on that will ensure we can continue to grow 50,000 kids for Christ. this amazing tool and tell more kids than In addition to a strong and united team, we ever about Life in Christ. have also set some specific markers for our growth:


Greater Los Angeles Region By Alan Smyth, Regional Director


reater Los Angeles is on the move! This past year has been a year of transition in Greater L.A. We said goodbye to three of our most senior area directors — all for great reasons. We are also ushering in several new staff and opening new areas. Things are moving fast in Greater L.A! I have a huge announcement for you. We are starting a formal Young Life ministry presence at UCLA for the first time ever! There are 28,000 undergrad students attending UCLA and a countless number of alumni in our midst. We have interviewed and hired an A+ couple by the name of Evan and Johanna Gratz. This is truly exciting and will be a “game changer” for Greater L.A. Calling all Bruins! “8 clap”

After building a committee, the next step was interviewing area director candidates and selecting someone to lead this venture from the Conejo Valley. After our search, we landed on someone whom we believe is the exact right fit. The Conejo Valley committee decided on Nate Lorenzini, who grew up in Young Life in the Bay Area. I have personally known Nate for many years and it is fun to welcome him to our region. Nate has hit the ground running in many ways. Not the least of which is the focus of recruiting leaders. There are 30 college-aged folks going through a weekly training in Nate’s home. Two teams of leaders have been created and contact work has started on two campuses. We are about to hit the scene in the Conejo Valley big time!

Please pray for Los Angeles, and thank The biggest highlight for our region, you for all of your support for our however, has been opening the great mission! Conejo Valley (Westlake, Thousand Oaks and more). Over this past year, I have been spending Evan and lots of time in the CV Johanna Gratz sharing the big vision UCLA of not only reaching kids in the Conejo Valley, but reaching into the heart of Los Angeles from the Conejo Valley. We have seen many adults answer the call and join the team. It has been really exciting to see folks grab the vision of their own Nate and Aubrey community as well as Lorenzini inner city L.A.

Conejo Valley

11 12

San Francisco Bay Region By Alberto Cuellar, Regional Director


nd Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things” (Mark 6:34 NKJV). Looking down from the hills of Berkeley, Calif., in 1958, Bob Mitchell fell to his knees and wept over the San Francisco Bay area, which numbered just more than three million people. Today that number is closer to nine million, and of that, more than two million are young people under the age of 18. Gone are the days of a “mono-culture” for youth. Instead, kids are represented in a fractured spattering of subcultures and subsubcultures with close ties to many parts of the world. Yet, through His eyes, staff and volunteers are reaching out in a renewed effort to those who seem lost and forgotten by the whirl of “world-class distractions and attractions” surrounding them. In fact, since June of 2013, our number of volunteers has swelled to 701 from 585 in just under a year, and staff are leaning in to invite more adult friends to be a part of what God is doing in our midst. Recently ranked as the “97th least Bible-minded city in the U.S.” by Time magazine, Young Life in the San Francisco Bay Region is on the move in new and exciting ways! Within the next five years, in faith we seek to: • Double the number of high school friends involved annually in discipleship summer experiences (i.e., work crew, discipleship camping).

• Add three new Young Life areas. • Launch Foster Care Young Life in the Bay. • Triple the number of Capernaum ministries. • Triple the number of YoungLives ministries. • Double the number of adult and junior volunteer leaders who reach out weekly to middle school and high school friends. • Double the number of high school and middle school campers and leaders involved annually in summer. • Train and equip more than 50 collegeaged next-GEN leaders in multi-ethnic ministry and discipleship. 12

Latino Initiative

By Angel Ruiz, Vice President of Field Ministry


he Latino Initiative, here and now, continues to be on the move throughout the Southwestern Division, reaching Latino kids, changing lives and transforming communities! For more than four decades, Latinos continue to be the largest and fastest growing minority in the U.S., and this demographic phenomenon is ever so present throughout the Southwestern Division. Latinos, in fact, are actually the largest minority people group in many of the key cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose, El Paso, San Diego, Fresno, Las Vegas and Albuquerque. Since this potentially laden initiative was birthed in the Southwestern Division seven years ago, we have continued to pursue the development of emerging indigenous Latino leaders. This is the real key to effective Latino outreach, and we are strategically poised for this. Even though the Latino Initiative went missionwide four years ago, the Southwest continues to lead the way in the development of Latino leaders.


To date, there have been a total of 90 Latino Student Staff (LSS) from the Southwest who have gone through the initiative, with 60 of them remaining either on staff or as key volunteer leaders. More than half of them (55 percent) have completed their fouryear bachelor’s degree, and 15 percent of them are currently pursuing postgraduate work. Currently, 35 LSS are actively enrolled in the initiative from the Southwest (14 from Alpha 7 and 21 from Alpha 8). We are excited that the 14 Alpha 7’s will be graduating from the Latino Student Staff Initiative this May 15-17 at Azusa Pacific University. As we continue to develop Latino leaders, one of the most significant results has been the realization of staff opportunities for those who finish the LSS Initiative. To date, five area directors and eight associates have come from the Southwestern Division! Being on the move means moving forward, and as we anticipate the coming season, we are now preparing for the next LSS Alpha 9 candidates who will be applying this spring.

Southwestern Division


Any questions for the division or any of the MIDWESTERN representatives, EASTERN please feel free to contact us.






Eric Scofied (SVP)

Bri Mitchell (Admin)

Emilie Schreiber

Scott Didrickson

John Byard

Randy Jackson

John Pantellas

Donna Hatasaki

Kristy Fox

Rob Crawford

Chris Eaton

Alan Smyth

Alberto Cuellar

Angel Ruiz 14

12625 High Bluff Dr., #301 San Diego, CA 92130

Southwestern Divisional Digest  

Spring 2014

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