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A PICTURE-PERFECT DAY FOR SENIORS NEEDING YEARBOOK PHOTOS

Spring 2015 | Vol. 29 Issue 1

TENNESSEE’S THIS YEAR’S BILL HASLAM GOVERNING WITH GRATITUDE ALUMNI AND FRIENDS FINDING REFUGE AT THE AWARDS HOLLENBECK HOUSE


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SPRING 2015

YOUNG LIFE ALUMNI AWARDS

ABOUT THE COVER

A closer look at this year’s honorees.

You just never know what you’re going to get into at Young Life camp! Messy games, exhilarating rides and surprises galore await kids, who experience it all with the leaders who brought them there. Along with the adventures are more thrilling moments — hearing about a God who loves them, sitting under the stars while considering this unbelievable news and spending quality time with the leader who can help them process it all.

UNITY IN DIVERSITY

Coming together to bring the Gospel to Dayton’s urban teenagers.

LIFE AT THE HOLLENBECK HOUSE A bright blue Victorian provides refuge and community in downtown Los Angeles.

Cover photo by Amanda Corley

THE ORDINARY ORDAINED How simply “showing up” moved a kid from anger to hope.

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IN EVERY ISSUE

FROM THE PRESIDENT IN YOUR OWN WORDS PASSAGES YOUNG LIFE LITE FROM THE GRAPEVINE YOUNG LIFE SPOKEN HERE PARTING SHOTS

GOVERNING WITH GRATITUDE

Bill Haslam reflects on his Young Life-influenced journey from “last on the bus” to first in the State House.


fromthepresident CHRISTMAS COURAGE IN THE SPRING

Mary, Joseph and the Magi … Their willingness to do what they felt God was leading them to do is a tremendous example of how we should live …” — Denny Rydberg

I have a friend who thinks the Christmas season is way too short. His answer: he starts early. I was with him this October and I noticed he was playing Christmas music in the background. His assistant who was nearby said, “You should have been here last year. He started in July.” I have similar feelings. I love the music of the season. But there is another reason I’m writing about Christmas now. The traditional season does not give us the time we need to ponder the great truths surrounding Jesus’ birth and life. So in a month when much of the world is still emerging from winter, it is time to reflect on some people vital to the Christmas story without being hampered by the busyness and distractions of December. I have been struck by the courage of three individuals and one group who appear in the story of Jesus’ birth. Their willingness to do what they felt God was leading them to do is a tremendous example of how we should live even in the dead of winter. My four are: Mary, Joseph, the Magi and Jesus Himself. Let’s begin with Mary. She was probably a teenager. If she were alive today, she might be involved in Young Life. (Yes, we do have Young Life in Nazareth!) Can you imagine one of the kids you know in your local Young Life club coming to you with the story that an angel had spoken to her and told her she would conceive and give birth to the Son of God and all this would happen while she was still a virgin? Would you have believed her even if she told you the exact words the angel said? Probably not. And if you wouldn’t believe her, do you think her friends at school, her family at home and anyone else in the community would? Did she decline the opportunity? No. She answered with these words, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38, NIV). Whatever the cost, I’m willing. Then there’s Joseph. He’s engaged to a lovely young woman. I’m sure he’s looking forward to marriage. Then his fiancée comes to him with an unbelievable story of why she’s pregnant. He doesn’t buy it. Described as a “righteous man,” he will end the relationship quietly. But an angel appears to him in a dream, and gives Joseph more information. “When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.” Did this change the carpenter’s life? Radically. But this small-town man had been chosen and he was obedient. Then there are the Magi, the Wise Men. They were not Jews; they were Gentiles. But they felt led to follow the star on a very long and dangerous journey from the East. They were courageous, adventurous, bold. They defied King Herod. Their role was so important that the Bible includes them in this Christmas story. Finally and foremost there is Jesus Christ. Paul summarizes who he is and what he did in Philippians 2. “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness ... he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross.” Jesus experienced rejection, pain and the penalty of our sin! And that’s the heart of the Christmas story. Courage, conviction, obedience, salvation. All topics too important to be left for December.

Denny Rydberg Young Life President

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inyourownwords OUR READERS SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS

A Change of Heart I just wanted to praise one of our Young Life leaders (though I could go on and on about all of them) who has made an amazing mark on my 16-year-old daughter Hannah’s heart. My daughter is quite strong-willed, has been “brainwashed” (as she puts it) to follow Christ by Mom and Dad, and is at that stage where she is trying to figure out what she really believes, and wants zero input from the parents. She really has never connected well with any Christian leaders throughout her childhood. She is also extremely sensitive to anyone she feels is not authentic in their expression of their faith. So when she found Sarah Martin (now Sarah Stewart) to be her Young Life leader, she had a change of heart. Sarah’s genuine heart for God and willingness to share her own personal stories has been a key factor in our daughter coming closer to understanding who she is in Christ. Sarah used her outgoing personality to always make things fun and blended Scripture well into the conversations they would have in a way that did not intimidate Hannah or make her feel like she was being forced or “guilted” into being a Christian. She connected Hannah to Young Life by including her in the skits they performed and gave her a leadership role. This was invaluable in allowing my daughter to feel that connection to the group. As we now look at colleges, my daughter has been drawn to South Carolina to look at schools so she can be close to Sarah (who moved to Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband, who is on staff with Young Life). Her heart’s desire is to be a part of their ministry there while going to college. This is such a turnaround in where we saw her heart headed just two years ago, and we are so grateful God brought Sarah into her life, as we had been praying for a “Sarah” for so many years for our daughter. Young Life has impacted all three of my teenagers (my son, Tim, who is a senior, was also drawn to a college with an active Young Life group close by where he hopes to get plugged in as a volunteer). The fun atmosphere and the comfort they feel to invite friends from school and sports, has made a difference in their character development and hearts. Thank you!! — Jennifer Milan, Glen Arm, Maryland

younglife.org P.O. Box 520 Colorado Springs, CO 80901

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is a publication of Young Life, a mission devoted to introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith. Relationships magazine is published three times a year (spring, fall and winter) by Young Life. If you’re receiving duplicate copies or would like to switch over to the electronic version, please contact the Young Life Mission Assistance team at (877) 438-9572. We can also help you with the change of address or giving information.

Publisher/President Denny Rydberg

Copy Editor Jessica Williams

Executive Editor Terry Swenson

Lead Designer Rob Huff

Lead Editor Jeff Chesemore Coordinator Donna McKenzie

Contributing Photographers Jed DeKalb Andy Kinomoto Theresa Montgomery Greg Sanders

Young Life is a Charter Member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.


younglifelite BY STACY WINDAHL

SENIORSNAP!

A picture-perfect day for Denver high school seniors and a caring community who helped to capture the moment.

NOT PICTURED In the senior section of a high school yearbook that might as well read: Not known. Not remembered. Not celebrated. As a leader with Central Denver Young Life at East High School, Andy (“Kino”) Kinomoto thinks graduates of Denver public high schools deserve some lasting recognition for graduating despite the hazards of available drugs, gang violence, family instability and the everyday pressures of high school. Not pictured? Kinomoto, a graphic designer by profession, had a different vision for seniors who might only be remembered with a silhouetted placeholder in their high school yearbook. He organized an event called “SeniorSnap!” which provides Denver high school seniors with professional portraits while building community at the same time. PICTURE THIS The idea for SeniorSnap! came from a Facebook message. “Kino, yearbook photos are due Friday and I don’t have one. Can you help?” Kinomoto responded by scheduling a photo session for the senior at a nearby park. When the student posted those photos on Facebook, “It blew up,” said Kinomoto. “I got more requests than I could respond to. It broke my heart.” It wasn’t only that Kinomoto had a heart for high school kids. He had a past. In his Seattle-area high school, Kinomoto had been the design editor of his school’s yearbook. He knew some of those “not pictured” had dropped out. Some had moved. Others submitted nothing because there was no money for a senior portrait, nor family awareness of why it mattered. When Kinomoto was deluged with requests for senior portraits “it reopened a hurt I had for those kids who might be forgotten. That’s when I wondered what could be done.” Was there a way to unite a community of professional creatives and caring adults to meet a need among Denver metro high school students? There was. But the only snappy thing about the process was the event’s name. COSTLY GIFTS FREELY GIVEN Kinomoto spent a year praying and brainstorming, networking with photographers, recruiting donors and volunteers, organizing logistics, promoting SeniorSnap!, and crafting just the right message about the event. Kinomoto took care to limit the use of the word, “free.” This would be no handout distributed by a “swoop-in savior.” Kinomoto was committed to preserving the dignity of the graduating seniors while protecting the value of the photographers’ talents. The press kit made it clear that SeniorSnap! would be a celebration that provided seniors and their families with access to amazing portraits. The students were honorees, not charitable causes. The portraits were gifts, not freebies. The event was a neighborly act, Kinomoto would love to see this idea take hold in other communities. not a mission project. To help impress upon the students the value of the portrait, Kinomoto used an online application for reserving a photo session. Seniors responded to prompts about their advice to incoming freshmen, their hopes and dreams for the future, and the people in their lives who had influenced them.

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MILE HIGH SMILES On Sept. 13, Kinomoto’s plan came into focus. With a corps of leaders, photographers, makeup artists, volunteers from The Summit Church, and cases of water, snacks and pizza, Kinomoto welcomed the 27 students who’d be photographed throughout the day. Not knowing what to expect, the organizers were unglued by what they saw. Kids arrived looking red-carpet ready. Some had parents by their sides and others had three changes of clothing. One senior, Amanda, was so excited, she’d been up since 3:00 a.m. just getting ready. Bryan Barley, pastor of The Summit Church (and event location) said, “The kids just seemed to have so much fun, and felt deeply valued and honored to have high-quality pictures capture this significant moment in their lives. The parents not only beamed with pride, but were treated with real respect in the process as well.” Commenting on the collection of stunning portraits, Amanda said, “The beauty in the pictures didn’t come from what we were wearing, but from how the photographers and volunteers made us feel — like they really cherished us. What came through was how happy and grateful we were.” Central Denver Area Director Eric Ebel said, “We are always trying to come up with ways to come around our students holistically — offering more than great club talks and a ride home. Often what is published about youth in our community is negative and tells a hopeless story. We wanted to tell a different one.” A PICTURE AND A THOUSAND WORDS The 27 albums available for view in Flickr or on Facebook tell a powerful story. A story about Gabriel who thanks his mom and wants a career helping kids; and Anya who hopes to be the second person in her family to get a college degree; and Dawite who credits his dad for his successes because he “works so hard for us and never complains.” And Amanda, who’s waiting to hear from nine colleges — and hopes to be a part of Young Life wherever she attends. What a loss it would have been had the faces of these 27 been omitted from their yearbooks; these seniors who are anything but forgettable. As the enduring yearbook inscription goes, they’re 2-beautiful 2-be 4-gotten. And as Ebel describes them, “image bearers” of the God who delights in them.

Meet the Snappers of the first-ever SeniorSnap! Left to right: Julia Taylo r, Kelsey Bunn, Andy Kinomoto, Chris sy Kennedy and Amber Martin.

Seniors and photographers went out in small groups — together with a Young Life leader or volunteer, to find interesting spots to shoot.

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Youn� life Alumni Awar�i BY JONATHAN SCHULTZ, Alumni and Friends director The Young Life Office of Alumni and Friends presents two awards annually to deserving alumni: The Young Life Distinguished Alumni Award and The Alumni Service to Young Life Award. Below are the stories of this year's worthy recipients.

YOUNG LIFE DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD CHIEF JUSTICE DON AND CAROL LEMONS

Don Lemons' connection to Young Life began in the late 1960s when, as a student at the University of Virginia. he was asked by local parents and a clergyman to start a Young Life club in Charlottesville. "I had never heard of Young Life," Don said, "but immediately recognized how worthwhile this ministry would be." Meanwhile, Carol was a student at the University of Maryland. and a Young Life leader at Duval High School alongside Chuck Reinhold. Upon graduation. Don joined Young Life staff and a training program led by Reinhold. "I went to a reception for new staff at a f" beautiful home in Northwest D.C.," Don said. "At this beautiful home, I met a beautiful vo lu ntee r I ead er who later. by the grace of God and my good fortune, became my wife." The newly married couple led club together in Herndon. Virginia. where the local committee chair was also a Juvenile Court judge. The judge asked Don to join his staff as a probation officer. and the seeds for a career in the legal field were planted. After moving to Richmond. Carol was the area representative for Amicus. Young Life's student exchange and hosting program for international kids, and they both served on their local committee. The Lemonses' three children attended Young Life camps. while Don and Carol

chaperoned junior high camps and served as adult guest hosts at Windy Gap and Saranac Village. Don was recently elected to be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, where in th is capacity he is responsible for administering the entire judicial branch of government in Virginia. David "Tuck" Knupp, a former Young Life staff member for more than 30 years and now pastor at Swift Creek Presbyterian Church, writes, "As Don's career trajectory has taken him into ever-greater spheres of influence. he and Carol have never lost their interest in and love for the mission of Young Life. Don's gifts of wisdom and teaching, and Carol's gifts of hospitality and friendship, along with the solid Christ-centeredness and sense of humor that they both share. have continued to encourage and mentor many in the Young Life family. They have truly been valued lifelong partners with all of us in Young Life."

ALUMNI SERVICE TO YOUNG LIFE AWARD RUSS AND SHARON STOLLE

In the late 1970s, a senior at Oak Park-River Forest High School in Illinois gave a self-professed "spiritually disinterested sophomore cheerleader" named Sharon a ride to Young Life club. By the summer of 1978, this "now-interested" teenage girl began following Jesus during the 15 minutes of silence at Windy Gap. Fast forward to 1987; Sharon is now married to Russ Stolle, and the two reside in Houston. Texas. At that time Sharon became. in her own words, a "full-time volunteer"


UNITY IN COMING TOGETHER TO BRING THE GOSPEL TO DAYTON’S URBAN TEENAGERS BY AIMÉE KESSICK In the fall of 2014 Young Life’s urban ministry in Dayton, Ohio, was off and running. In June, a full-time staff person was hired, 12 kids and nine leaders had spent a week at Young Life camp, and by August kids were regularly coming to club and Campaigners — school hadn’t even started. But it was a long road — nearly 10 years in the making — to get there. It took steadfast prayers and faithful relationship-building from residents of a Dayton suburb, who, although they lived just miles from the inner city, might as well have lived worlds away. But God brought a diverse group of people from the suburbs and the city together who care about urban teens and built a vision to reach them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. PROPELLED BY PRAYER One of those residents, Kris Horlacher, lived in the Oakwood area of Dayton, and prayed with a group of neighborhood moms after their kids went off to school each morning. These impromptu times evolved into a monthly prayer group, so when Horlacher heard about Young Life, and wanted it in her community, they brought that request to the group. In 2005, after faithfully praying for two years for Young Life to begin, a busload of kids from Oakwood went to Young Life camp. As Young Life grew in Oakwood, Horlacher’s home became a hub of Young Life activity. Living within walking distance of the University of Dayton (UD), she opened up her home to Young Life leaders, hosting Bible studies and continuing the prayer group (which now also included Young Life leaders and other college students). As a trauma nurse in the inner city, Horlacher’s heart was burdened for the residents she served. One morning, she decided to ask God for Young Life to start there. That same day, Erik Hofmann, area director at the time, who

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knew Horlacher’s passion for prayer, asked her, “Will you pray about urban Young Life starting in Dayton?” “I had no idea how to start Young Life in the city, but I knew I could pray,” Horlacher said. So that faithful group of neighbors, leaders, kids and friends of Young Life prayed to see how God would lead. MEETING NEEDS, BUILDING BRIDGES Through a friend, Horlacher learned of a struggling tutoring program in a subsidized housing community in need of tutors. Horlacher knew she could call on an army of college students in her Young Life community to be those faithful mentors. Over the next three years, the tutoring program grew, from serving kids once a week to seven days a week. Horlacher noticed many kids needed some practical items like socks and shoes. This idea led to the creation of a non-profit organization called Shoes for the Shoeless (S4tS). S4tS sends teams of trained volunteers directly into schools with high poverty rates, to work one on one with referred students, measuring their feet using a device they designed, and putting new shoes and socks on these students on site. S4tS has served more than 27,000 disadvantaged students in five years. Countless Young Life-involved high school kids and their leaders have learned to serve the poor through this mission. Along the way, Horlacher formed relationships with an array of people from the urban community. WORKING TOWARD UNDERSTANDING By 2011, Horlacher was meeting monthly with city youth pastors and directors of social service agencies. “We wanted to hear from these youth workers about their mission field,” Erik Hofmann said. “We wanted


to understand the resources in place and the obstacles preventing outreach to students.” Hofmann found that although the social service agencies were interconnected, the churches were not. “Many were also weary of programs from the suburbs that would not last. There were also racial issues between Caucasian and African-American Christians, misconceptions on the part of both groups,” he said. By 2012, these meetings included school principals, city pastors, as well as Young Life families from the suburbs. “Rather than gathering information, we were building a team, a board to pave the way to a ministry launch,” Hofmann said. The Young Life Dayton Urban Initiative formed, with Horlacher serving as chairwoman. Board members took Young Life “field trips” to other cities to see ministry in action. The next year a gift of $20,000 was pledged, and by the end of the year, $60,000 more was committed. HOMEGROWN LEADERSHIP Horlacher and others continued to pray, even bringing the monthly prayer meeting into the city. One night, after the group finished praying in a parking lot of a church, they met Bishop Mark McGuire, pastor of The Potter’s HouseDayton International Ministries, who’d heard of Young Life years earlier. McGuire didn’t know Young Life was active in Dayton, so when he learned of its 30-year history in the suburbs, that realization was somewhat painful. “I just thought about all the kids we missed,” he said. He joined the board and, in early 2014, was hired as the urban director. His strategy to get ministry going was twofold. “We needed to take ‘ambassadors’ to Young Life camp — those from the inner city who we know already but who look like other kids from the city, think like them and have been through similar experiences. Then we need to put Young Life leaders in place to be with kids no matter where they go to school.” In suburban areas, Young Life clubs are often built around one school; but in inner-city Dayton, kids attend a variety of schools in close proximity. McGuire and six other leaders brought 12 kids to camp last summer. “They had the time of their life. They were amazed,” he said. There were 25 kids at the first club in August, and as the semester continued, that number grew to more than 75. Kids are drawn not only to the positive, party-like atmosphere and a Gospel message, but also a home-cooked meal. In addition, up to 65 kids have been at Campaigners, a weekly Bible study. “HOPE IN THESE ASHES” McGuire’s approach to reaching kids is holistic. “We’re trying to enhance the total person,” the bishop said. “We’re dealing with behavior issues, test scores, meeting with parents, tutoring, probation issues, but also their overall well-being, their hope, health and their dreams. Is it a lot? Yes, but it’s what’s needed for transformation. They have to believe there is hope in these ashes.” And hope can be hard to come by. One high school student, who recently began a relationship with Jesus Christ at a Young Life weekend camp this fall, was involved in a gang. A week before camp, he was with a group of gang members, when another young man was shot by a rival gang. Currently the student and his sister (who gave birth to her firstborn days after receiving Christ at the same fall

camp) are fully engaged in Young Life. “Now he’s facing a lot of opposition to his desire to live a new life. He’s being followed and fears for his life,” McGuire said. Thankfully, there’s a Young Life leader on his side. His leader told the student, “I am never more than five minutes away. Call me any time for any reason. I will come to your side immediately. I am part of your Young Life family.” Working innovatively and uniquely, without losing or compromising the fundamentals and foundation of the Young Life philosophy and mission, Urban Dayton Young Life is trying to create a new culture, McGuire said. “We are building a city-wide family.” Kids from Dayton Urban Young Life enjoy their first summer and fall weekend camps. Clockwise, from top: Campers participate in games at Timber Wolf Lake; dozens from Dayton attend a fall weekend camp; Dayton Urban dons choir robes for their volleyball tournament uniforms at Timber Wolf last summer; and fall weekend brings a big smile!

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BY JEFF CHESEMORE

Bill Haslam reflects on his Young Life-influenced journey from “last on the bus” to first in the State House. When you’re the leader of a place nicknamed “The Volunteer State,” it’s helpful to have served in that very role yourself. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam does indeed know what it means to volunteer, because he’s been doing it for more than four decades with Young Life. During his rich history with the mission, a short list of his unofficial titles has included: club kid, volunteer leader, committee chair, interim area director, trustee on the Young Life board and one-time “Backstreet Boy” (but more on that later …). The recently re-elected public servant has learned much about service from his years with Young Life, an outfit which as a high school junior he had no intention of pursuing … CAUGHT In 1974, while attending the Webb School of Knoxville, Bill Haslam was a wanted man. “I had a Young Life leader, Jimmy Dean, who was doing everything he could to get me to go to a weekend camp at Windy Gap,” Haslam said, “and I came up with every excuse in the world not to go. My ultimate excuse was that we were having a family portrait made that Friday afternoon after the bus left. Unfortunately, my mother happened to run into Jimmy at the store the next day and he said how sorry he was that I couldn’t go. She said, ‘No, we’re doing that the day before. Bill can go.’” Suddenly caught, Haslam found himself headed to Windy Gap. “I was literally that last kid who gets on the bus.” The weekend turned out to be a revelation; not only for the fun Haslam found himself having, but in the message he was hearing. “I don’t remember a lot of what the speaker said, but I clearly remember him saying, ‘Jesus’ claims are too bold to ignore. You either have to decide they’re true and you’re going to follow Him, or they’re not. But whatever you do, don’t ignore Him.’” For the 15-year-old, the challenge made sense. While sitting on the steps of the gym at Windy Gap, Haslam decided the claims were true and began a relationship with Jesus. Bill Haslam was caught once again. Just three weeks later Haslam’s life was changed forever; a high school counselor called him out of class and told him to go home immediately. “When I arrived home,” he said, “I learned my mother, who had just turned 42 years old, had suffered a heart attack and died while taking a nap.

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“The story continues, then, with the same people who had worked so hard to talk me into coming to Windy Gap being the first ones to show up at my house.” Haslam’s Young Life leaders loved the young man through the tragedy, providing him with comfort and direction. “One of the teachers at our school — who is now one of my best friends — started a Campaigner group with several guys right after we got back from Windy Gap. He did a wonderful job of walking us into the truths of the faith.” COLLEGE, CRISSY AND COMMITTEE When his high school years concluded, Haslam didn’t miss a beat with Young Life. He attended Emory University in Atlanta where he served as a volunteer leader for four years. “That experience was one of the most formative of my life. I think people underestimate what a great experience being a Young Life leader is for a college student. You’re forced to leave your comfort zone and think creatively about how you share your faith. If you think you’re bold and courageous, you try walking into a high school lunch room some time, where you’re the adult or college student who feels incredibly out of place! “You begin to learn how to share your life. You go from being a teenager wrapped up in a fairly self-involved world of high school to, for the first time, walking into other people’s lives. That’s a transforming experience.” Also transforming was meeting Crissy Garrett, who hailed from Memphis and had been a Young Life kid at St. Mary’s High School. The two married and moved back to Knoxville, where they trained college freshmen who wanted to be Young Life leaders. Soon they transitioned onto the local area committee, where they would serve for more than two decades. “We looked at committee as having a front-row seat to all God was doing through Young Life in Knoxville all those years,” Haslam said. During this time the Haslams became friends with the area director, Steve Chesney, and his wife, Cathy. The couples have been fast friends since 1983, having served beside each other in the Knoxville years and beyond. Throughout the 1990s Chesney served the dual role of Knoxville area director and regional director for East Tennessee. In 2001 he assumed the role as the senior regional director for the entire state. As a result, Knoxville Young Life was in need of a new area director. Any question who stepped up in the interim? Haslam remembers the time fondly. “It was great fun, it was so different. Prior to that I had been in a business job and after that I went on to be the mayor of Knoxville. It was such a great experience for me. There was so much going on in so many high schools around town. “As a joke I told Steve he should make up stationery for me that said ‘Part-Time/Acting/Interim Area Director’!” Chesney, however, doesn’t remember anything part-time about Haslam’s tenure. “For that year,” Chesney said, “Bill stepped in and he was a full-time, I mean full-time, volunteer area director. He led an area of seven full-time staff and 100 volunteer leaders spread out over sixteen schools in Knoxville, which is a pretty broad area.” CHILDREARING Over those years, the Haslams saw their children, Will, Annie (Colquitt) and Leigh (Avery), also embrace Young Life. “All of our kids were involved with Young Life in high school,” he said. “It was so fun for us as parents to watch leaders walk into their lives and the lives of their friends, and to see it from the other side was incredibly Continued on page 13

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Continued from page 12

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1. David and Annie Colquitt, Governor and Crissy Haslam, Leigh and Matt Avery 2. Governor Haslam delivers his 2015 Inauguration speech 3. Governor and Crissy Haslam 4. Haslam shares a moment with his grandson

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Governor Haslam currently serves alongside 26 other men and women on Young Life’s Board of Trustees. These friends of the mission come from all over the world and hail from professions as varied as corporate business to academia to professional sports. Their role is to support the integrity and vision of Young Life. Ultimately, they control and conduct the affairs of the organization through: Providing oversight by setting and approving policies that enable Young Life to fulfill its mission. Reviewing and approving the annual operational budget. Assessing and evaluating the successfulness of organizational goals and ministry objectives. Fulfilling other miscellaneous assignments relating to the governance of the organization.

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encouraging. And as a parent, I don’t know a whole lot of things more rewarding than to see your kids share their lives with other high school students.” The Haslams’ three children have served in various ways, everything from work crew to leading in college to coming on Young Life staff. Leigh, who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she works as the Young Life regional administrator for the Carolinas Region, remembers the influence her parents’ faith had on her and her siblings. “My parents modeled what it looks like to have a relationship with Jesus. I remember seeing my dad have his quiet time in the same chair every morning, making that a priority. Mom and Dad were always looking outward, involving themselves in other peoples’ lives and giving that vision to us.” Leigh has also seen her dad model the joy of the Christian life, although she may not have fully appreciated it at the time. “One of my most embarrassing moments came in high school when I was trying to be ‘too cool for school,’” Leigh said. “In the middle of club at the end of this ongoing skit, Dad — who was the mayor of Knoxville at this point — shows up dancing, dressed as a Backstreet Boy. Everyone thought it was hilarious, and as a shy freshman girl I was so embarrassed. Now I laugh about it because today I look at these shy insecure freshman girls and think, oh it’s OK, your dad’s not dancing like a Backstreet Boy in front of all your friends! “Other than this one-time surprise appearance,” Leigh laughed, “he gave us our space in high school and let us do our own thing.” CAMPAIGN-ER The transition into the political world can be a harrowing one, but Haslam credits his many hours spent in the ministry with teaching him how to navigate this new arena. “I’m so grateful to Young Life for so many things, but training me to be a leader is one where I certainly couldn’t have anticipated the difference it would make for me. Everything I learned about campaigning to be a governor I learned from doing contact work as a Young Life leader.” Steve Chesney has seen the parallels between the two worlds. “When you’re campaigning, you’re sometimes walking into strange, uncomfortable, awkward situations. I think Bill drew back to his experience of walking into a high school lunch room — what’s more strange, uncomfortable and awkward than that? He learned a great deal about people and relationships, and these lessons shaped and defined him.” Haslam is someone who naturally reflects Christ through his character, Chesney said. “Bill is perhaps the most positive person I know. He sees the good in every person and he’s not suspicious, cynical or skeptical. Frankly, the only bad thing his political critics or the media can think to say about him is that he’s too nice! I think the state has fallen in love with that quality and realized he’s the same behind the curtain as he is on stage. In his sincere and genuine way he has gone about creating a culture of civility in the political arena. He lives out his

faith in a way that’s not invasive or overbearing, which is important in the world he’s living in.” Chesney is encouraged that Haslam’s terms as mayor, and now governor, have not separated his friend from his convictions. “Those who know Bill and Crissy have appreciated the way this current experience has not changed them. He is still the same person and that comes from finding his anchor in Christ. He knows who he is and allows that to play out in the world without allowing his celebrity status to change the nature of his essential values and principles. He’s not impressed with himself.” This consistency and humility are evident to his kids as well. “Dad taught us to live below our means and give generously,” Leigh said. “He never drove the nicest car on the block or wore a nice watch (growing up he wore a Timex from Target and I’m pretty sure he still does), which never made us feel like we had to have the most expensive things either.” COMMITTED Alongside his many gubernatorial responsibilities, Haslam also serves on the Young Life Board of Trustees, a post which provides him with a bird’s eye view of the great strides within the mission over the past four decades. He is especially bullish on Young Life’s Reaching a World of Kids initiative. “When you hear stories of Steve Larmey in Africa putting on a camp for Ebola victims — that’s reaching a world of kids. When you realize we have the largest ministry to teen moms and we can keep going to all the places Young Life has ventured into, we’re a long way from what began primarily as a suburban ministry.” He is thankful, however, that the mission still remains true to its core principles. “The thing that stays consistent is the idea of caring adults walking into teenagers’ lives with the truth of the Gospel. I’ve had the opportunity to see that played out literally around the world. Whether that’s a high school in Knoxville, Tennessee, or a high-rise building in Moscow, Russia, the core truth of Young Life’s mission of relational Gospel is still being acted out today. Closer to home, Haslam also enjoys a unique perspective when it comes to Young Life’s presence across Tennessee. “It’s a fun perspective,” he said. “I travel all over the state, and in the process, I’m always amazed at how many Young Life people are out there. People I’ve known for 20 years when they were volunteer leaders at the University of Tennessee and now live in West Tennessee working a regular job, married with three kids, but they’re still living out the truth of what they learned as a leader in college in whatever world they’ve been called into now.” Today, the man who was once a reluctant teenager riding to camp, remains fully on board. “I’ve stayed involved with Young Life for a couple of reasons: one, out of gratitude for the way God used it in my life; two, as governor I’m exposed to a lot of things and it’s easy to get discouraged; it’s easy to wonder, ‘What really can change things?’ “I’m convinced Young Life is one of those things that can make a difference going forward. And because of that I intend to stay involved until my last day.”

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PARADING HIS LOVE BY JILL RAINWATER

WyldLife leaders at Jefferson Middle School (in Midland, Michigan) met Jamie* the fall of her seventh-grade year. She sat by herself in the lunchroom, seemingly invisible to all the other students. Not invisible, however, to our leaders who asked if they could sit down next to her. The more they learned about Jamie, the more they knew her need for God’s love. Daily her family told her, “We wish you were never born” or “Our life would be so much better without you around.” Jamie was ostracized at school and home, and knew nothing about being included, loved and valued. Desperate for a place to fit in, Jamie dove headfirst into WyldLife. She came to everything, hearing about Jesus and seeing Him up close through her leaders’ lives. At winter camp she told me, “I’ve decided I’m going to be like my leader, Grace, not my family, in the way I treat people. I’m going to be someone who encourages others and stands up for them.” Suddenly Jamie started caring for others who were being left out or put down in the school lunchroom. “I just wish there was some way we could help Jamie truly get how loved and valued she is by Jesus,” Grace said. We prayed right then that somehow God would make His love clear to her in a deep, unforgettable way. On the final day of camp, the program team held a raffle at breakfast. Jamie looked like she’d won the lottery as she held up the winning ticket. She proceeded to the stage and learned her prize was a parade that was about to come through camp, in her honor. I’ve never seen anything like it — hundreds of eyes were on Jamie as she was celebrated with a “Jamie parade.” I wept as I watched. After the parade, I encouraged the camp staff and her leaders, “I can’t believe you all did this just for her. She was the perfect choice and for just a few moments, she felt like the most important person on the planet — the way God feels about her all the time. Thank you for choosing her!” “We actually didn’t plan who would win,” the camp staff said. “It wasn’t planted. God must have chosen her!” We all walked away from that moment changed. Jamie, because she saw how loved and valued she is by God. Grace, the other leaders and the camp staff, because they also had a glimpse of Jesus showing up. And me, reminded that as we pray, God truly is in every detail and answers prayers in the most unexpected ways.

The girls at breakfast.

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*name has been changed

Celebrating at camp.

SMALL CONVERSATIONS BY NED ERICKSON

Two years ago, Josh and Breanne Powell left Seattle with their three girls to start Young Life in Hong Kong. “It’s a pretty unique place,” said Powell from his 42nd-floor apartment. “People call it the ‘New York of Asia.’ It’s western, and yet it’s China.” Well, last summer, Powell’s two worlds collided when 60 of his Hong Kong friends came to the Pacific Northwest for Young Life camp. Grace was a junior at one of the first schools in Hong Kong to have Young Life. “There’s a video of me taking my first steps out of the airport in which I say something along the lines of ‘Wow it’s so cold! And it smells like barbecue!’ Although that may have been due to my hunger,” said the spunky 17-year-old. The plan was to spend four days in Seattle before heading up to Malibu Club. Home stays had been coordinated by Kelly Wotherspoon, a longtime friend of Young Life and the Powells. “Grace caught my attention right away,” Wotherspoon said, “especially when, during a game that included hot dogs being tossed from our deck, Grace literally ‘nailed’ three in a row with the spike on her bike helmet!” The next morning, Wotherspoon said, “I got up at 6:30 to start coffee and there’s Grace, already having run around my neighborhood. Now, I’m a runner, too, so conversation flowed easily.”


IN HONOR OF EMILY AULTMAN, MY BELOVED YOUNG LIFE LEADER

Editor’s Note: The following is a tribute from a high school student in Florida to her dear friend, Emily, who passed away last July.

A few years ago, I was deeply lost and wondered how God fit into the cracked formations of a human heart. My soul had no music and no melody. I dug my way into a pit of bleak darkness and had the scars on my wrist to prove it. However, the sound of Jesus’ name being praised with every breath Emily Aultman took, forced my doubt of God to be reconsidered. On July 20, 2014, Emily passed away in a car accident. She was and is my Young Life leader. When I met Emily my freshman year in high school, I felt utterly and hopelessly unloved. She not only listened to my soul pour out its sadness, but resolved to help it sing. She took every opportunity to show me I was truly and passionately loved by a wondrous, miracle-working Father in heaven. Whether it meant late-night ice cream runs, jamming to Katy Perry, stuffing our faces with Moe’s burritos or going on hammock dates, Emily helped my soul come alive. She did her absolute best at reflecting a glimpse of the love Jesus has for His children. I would like to emphasize I am under no misperception that Emily saved me. Jesus saved me because Jesus is my Savior; but I have never met anyone like Emily who was so ready to be used by Jesus in any way she could to spread His love. The past months have been some of the hardest of my life, but every moment of every day I can feel Jesus whispering to stay strong in His love because God is a God who never fails. I’m not going to lie, sometimes it is hard to believe, but it is impossible for me to deny His presence. I can only wonder what this period of grief would have looked like if Emily had not come into my life and convinced me of the ultimate power of the cross.

The vision Young Life has on their website is this: “Every adolescent will have the opportunity to meet Jesus Christ and follow Him.” I watched Jesus use Emily Aultman to help fulfill this vision in my friends’ lives and in mine. Young Life was more than just a club she hung out at during her free time; it was her passion.

Emily (fourth from left) and friends.

Young Life has changed my life and I am blessed to have been a part of something so extraordinary. It has given me sweet friendships that never fail to put a smile on my face, it has given me an opportunity to love Jesus like no one else is watching, and it has given me leaders, mentors, and role models who have pursued me relentlessly so they could introduce me to Jesus Christ. “Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39, NIV). Sincerely, A Truly Blessed Teenager

“Ms. Kelly shared about her time at Malibu; I shared parts of my own life. Every morning we talked just the two of us, and over those small conversations we became friends,” said Grace. “My house was so quiet after they left!” Wotherspoon remarked. “But when I was cleaning up, I kept discovering thank you notes all over my house. Grace wrote one in Chinese. She said a second note would translate it for me. I literally looked through my house all day until I found it. Translation: ‘Thank you for your love.’” Grace and Wotherspoon stayed connected through email. Three months later, a surprise business trip reunited the two at a Starbucks. “Yep, Starbucks in Hong Kong,” quipped Wotherspoon. “It was very nice to have a piece of summer come home to me,” said Grace. “Ms. Kelly is truly an amazing individual.” The feeling is mutual. “I love Grace’s positive energy and spirit. She is so full of life and her enthusiasm for Young Life is contagious.” The beautiful collision of worlds thrills Josh Powell. “I never imagined when we left Seattle how God would use the relationships we built there to bridge the Pacific and touch the lives of kids across the world.”

Grace and Kelly on the beach in Hong Kong.

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Life at the Hollenbeck House A bright blue Victorian provides refuge and community in downtown Los Angeles. BY JEFF CHESEMORE BY CHRIS LASSITER For one month this summer, Chico Flores will serve people hamburgers instead of haircuts. A student at East Los Angeles Community College, the popular, young barber currently splits his time between books and the barber shop. This year, however, Flores will be on summer staff at Woodleaf, serving in the kitchen. He’s exchanging his clippers for a cutting board to be part of Young Life’s camp ministry. It’s a nine-hour trip from his home in Boyle Heights to Woodleaf, but in reality Flores’ journey has been much longer. And it’s part of a much bigger story about what God is doing in Boyle Heights through a group of Young Life leaders and their unique form of incarnational ministry. The Young Life team in Boyle Heights is extremely close, both relationally and geographically. The 10 members, who all have some tieChico Flores in to Biola University, live together in the Hollenbeck House. Built in the 1880s, the bright blue, pre-Victorian style house is located squarely in the predominately Hispanic Boyle Heights neighborhood where the housemates all do ministry. Together, adjunct Biola University professor Larry Smith, his wife, Niki, and 10 Young Life leaders are proof that Young Life ministry doesn’t always fit in a box, but it fits just perfectly inside of a home. “God’s always surprising us,” said Chantelle Gibbs, one of the Young Life leaders in the Hollenbeck House. “God’s

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been doing a work in Boyle Heights long before we got here. We just want to take a step back and follow His lead.” MI CASA ES SU CASA Everything about the Hollenbeck House – from the basketball court to the square-shaped swimming pool – is inviting to the neighborhood kids, for whom there is an open-door policy. A wall was torn down to create a larger living room. Both Niki’s childhood piano and her interior design skills are on display in the area that doubles as a Young Life club room. It’s painted a rich, green color, and the walls are lined with large picture prints of the group’s first Young Life camping trip. To the kids in the neighborhood, the Hollenbeck House is a refuge. To the 10 Young Life leaders, it’s simply home. Like most of the leaders in the Hollenbeck House, aspiring filmmaker Greg Sanders had Larry Smith as a Los Angeles literature professor before he had the professor as a housemate. “I remember every week there would be tons of hand-outs,” Sanders said. “It had to do with Los Angeles. It would be about poetry, the history of Los Angeles, or an article about the Dodgers, the history of buildings downtown. He’s just a different professor. He tried to challenge the way we looked at stuff.”


The literature course helped Sanders, a Seattle native, develop a heart for the city of Los Angeles. Never one to turn down an adventure, Sanders decided to move in the Hollenbeck House before he had even seen the home. It’s one of the best decisions he’s ever made. “I never thought I’d live with my professor,” Sanders said, laughing. “We run into hiccups and obstacles all the time. We always work through it. In short, I love living with these guys. Yeah, we’re ministry partners, but they are also my best friends. It’s just amazing to be part of a community like this.” From the outset, one of the rules of life in the Hollenbeck House was that the housemates would all be involved in some form of ministry to bless the community. They were involved in several different types of ministries, but Larry and Niki never felt settled about the direction of ministry. The 67-year-old Smith, now in his 45th year as a high school teacher, had been a volunteer area director in Coos Bay, Oregon, for 15 years. He and his wife served as summer staff bosses in the summer. Even as the couple pursued other ministry options, Larry and Niki kept thinking about Young Life. “We were doing scattershot ministry, but it never felt quite right,” said Smith, referencing the first three years of living in the Hollenbeck House. “Young Life was always where our heart was. After three years, we just looked at each other and said, ‘What are we fighting this for? Let’s just go with what we know.’” CHICO’S STORY Besides the close-knit bond the leaders share by living together, one of the most rewarding parts of living at the Hollenbeck House is seeing the spiritual transformation of kids like Flores. Because Flores’ home is close to the Hollenbeck House, the housemates befriended him quickly. However, Flores initially stayed away from the big blue house even though it was one of the only places he felt free to truly be himself. “I felt good about it, but at the same time I was messing up,” Flores said. “I was like, ‘Nah, I don’t want to be there.’ I felt like I wasn’t good.” A pivotal moment came when Flores went to a camp that Gibbs had suggested to him. The two-week camping experience is when the Gospel really clicked for Flores, but when he started to slide back into an old lifestyle, Sanders was one of the people who showed up in his life. “Greg and Charlie (Berlin-Burns) were a good influence in my life,” Flores said. “Being around them has made me more comfortable to be open on what I am struggling with.” Flores is one of many students who have impacted the Young Life leaders in the Hollenbeck House. “He has taken his faith to the next level,” Gibbs said. “It’s literally been encouraging and sanctifying for all of us. Sometimes it feels like he’s teaching us more about faith than we’re teaching him.” WINNING AT WOODLEAF Chico’s story is just one of the amazing stories that has stemmed from Young Life ministry at the Hollenbeck

clockwise from top: Greg Sanders, fourth from left with frien ds Ari, Par ris,

Steven, Victor and Bailey. / Leaders

and kids on an overnight trip to San Francisco. / Chico, the barber. House. Last summer, the team took nine kids from Boyle Heights to Young Life camp at Woodleaf. Not a single person on the trip — leader or camper — had been to a Young Life camp before. Sanders vividly remembers returning from camp to Boyle Heights and debriefing with his teammates. “We sat in our living room, and said literally, ‘What just happened?’” Sanders recalled. “And we were sharing stories, laughing together and crying together. We were up until 3 a.m. or so. And we were like, ‘That was the most amazing thing that has ever happened!’ It was like a little slice of heaven.” The Boyle Heights kids really bonded with camp musician Mike Edel, who even came back and did a special house show at the Hollenbeck House months later. “The fact that he came to them in their neighborhood was the biggest deal,” Gibbs said. “It proved that Mike meant what he said that he wanted to hang with them.” As long as there are kids skateboarding through the streets of Boyle Heights — kids who just like Chico are waiting for a caring adult to invest into their lives — Smith hopes that there are leaders in the Hollenbeck House lovingly pursuing them. “We’re in it for the long haul,” Smith said. “I’m 67. I can’t imagine retiring from teaching, and I can’t imagine dropping Young Life. The Lord is really doing some miraculous things here.”

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THE ORDINARY

How simply “showing up” moved a kid from anger to hope. Dropping by Bryan Kerns’ math class at Dobyns Bennett High School is part of Scottie Dancy’s regular Young Life routine. But last spring, that ordinary stop turned out to be ordained. And a high school sophomore named Trey Richardson has never been the same. ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE As area director of Young Life in Kingsport, Tennessee, Scottie Dancy spends much of his time hanging out in the lunchroom and walking the halls of the high school, looking to connect with kids. Dancy’s friendship with Bryan Kerns, a math teacher there, goes back to Kerns’ days as a volunteer leader. Kerns had just mentioned the name Trey Richardson to Dancy one day last January as “a kid who doesn’t have anything in his life and really needs Young Life” when Trey unexpectedly walked in the room. Kerns introduced his student to Dancy, and Dancy invited his new friend to Young Life. Trey was interested but noncommittal; Dancy didn’t see him again for a month.

Trey tackling the ropes course at SharpTop Cove.

“There are 2,000 kids in that high school, and I looked for Trey all the time,” Dancy said. “One day, I was in the cafeteria and I heard someone yelling, ‘Michael! Michael!’ That’s not my name, but I knew it was for me. I turned around and there was Trey, trying to get my attention.” While Trey had forgotten Dancy’s name, he remembered Young Life. He asked Dancy if he could have a ride to the next club. Club was that night, and Dancy said he’d pick him up. “On the way, Trey was asking all kinds of questions about Young Life,” Dancy recalled. “He said his grandma wanted him to go because he didn’t hang out with anybody. But from the minute he got there, he was all in. Trey was smack dab in the middle of everybody, soaking it in.” When it was time for the club talk, Trey bristled. “I remember I asked Scottie if this was a Bible lecture,” Trey recalled. “I didn’t know it was a Christian club. I didn’t believe in Jesus, but I sat through it.” But when the SharpTop Cove camp video flashed on

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the screen, Dancy said Trey was ready to get on the bus. “He told me, ‘Scottie, I want to go to that camp this summer, but my family is poor. You saw that I live in a trailer. There is no way I can afford to go.’ Then and there, I decided he was going to camp for free. I was going to raise the money for him to go.” On the way home, Trey opened up about his life. “Trey just began talking to me about his past,” Dancy said. “How he didn’t know his dad, and his mom didn’t want him; his grandma couldn’t handle him and sent him to his uncle, and his uncle sent him to an institution. It was traumatic for him. He talked about how he didn’t have friends at school. My heart absolutely broke for him. “There was a lot of deep pain in his life from neglect, rejection and abuse. Trey was desperate for someone to love him.” The rest of the semester Trey never missed club and hung out at McDonald’s afterward with the other kids. Dancy said Trey’s fun, outgoing personality started to emerge. “Trey never had any friends before,” Dancy said. “It was amazing to see this guy just blossom. Everybody I knew was praying for him — my committee was praying, some of my Campaigner guys were praying. “I’ve been a leader for years and been in situations with kids where I thought, “I want this kid to know Christ.” But with Trey, it was always like, ‘When he meets Christ.’ I’ve never so clearly known that in my heart before.” Trey struggled academically and knew he’d have to attend summer school, which threatened his ability to go to camp. Miraculously, the school’s assistant principal allowed Trey a week off from school so he could go. “The assistant principal said Trey could miss a week because she knew he needed Young Life more than a week of summer school,” Dancy said. “All of us were anticipating God doing something major in Trey’s life.”


Ordained CALMING THE STORM When the bus pulled up at SharpTop Cove, Trey — who’d never been out of Tennessee before — was blown away. “It feels like I am going to live at an amusement park this week,” Trey told Dancy. “Here’s a kid coming from a trailer seeing the grandeur that is Young Life camp,” Dancy said. “He was taken aback from the first moment. And seeing it through his eyes, I was amazed and thankful at the same time.” Dancy remembered Trey “took camp by storm” — laughing, dancing and singing at club, and listening intently to the speaker. But Trey maintained he didn’t believe in Jesus and frankly, didn’t want to. “I was angry at the world,” Trey said. At the end of the week, the camp speaker gave the “sin talk,” presenting the kids with their sin and their need for a Savior. Part of that evening includes 20 minutes under the stars, giving campers time to reflect and pray. This particular night, however, it was raining. “Two minutes in the club room instead of 20 minutes outside,” Dancy said. “In my lack of faith, I thought, “This is pointless.’” And while the unwanted rain poured outside, Jesus was calming a storm in Trey’s heart. “I closed my eyes and saw darkness and sin inside me, and I didn’t like it,” Trey said. “I started bawling and I couldn’t stop. I looked at myself, and I didn’t know who I was.” Back in the cabin, Dancy watched the miracle he and so many had been praying for unfold. “I started with the question, ‘So, what do you think about what you heard tonight?’” Dancy said. “Trey answered first and said he saw how dark and dirty his

BY LESLIE STRADER

soul was. He knew how much God loved him that He would sacrifice Jesus for him. I asked him if he really believed that. Through tears he said, ‘I do now.’” Later that night, on the back deck of their cabin, Dancy prayed with Trey to invite Christ into his life. AN EXTRAORDINARY THING Trey said, “I knew I was different. I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. There was a movement in my heart.” Since camp, Trey, now 16, has stayed involved in Young Life, going to club and digging deeper in Campaigners. The wounds are still there along with his struggles. But now, he has hope. “I don’t get angry like I used to,” Trey said. “I needed hope in my life. With Jesus I knew I could have that. You can do your life differently with His help. I know I won’t be alone even when I am alone. Young Life saved my life.” And Dancy, he says, is like “the dad I wish I’d had.” Instead of giving up on Trey, he gave him love. “God is working in the lives of kids,” Dancy said. “I didn’t do anything special. I did what thousands of leaders do every day. All we need to do is show up and be present. There are a lot of kids out there like Trey who are broken and rejected and need someone to show up and love them. “I want to reach as many kids as possible. And the day Trey walked in that classroom, it was like God said, “Here’s one.” I was at the right place at the right time. God chose to do an extraordinary thing through an ordinary person.”

Trey (on left in blue hat) and Scottie (green shirt) with friends on a Windy Gap weekend retreat.

Trey and Scottie.

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younglifespokenhere YOUNG LIFE’S MISSION IN

LATVIA

Latvia is one of the three Northern European countries, along with Estonia and Lithuania, which form the Baltic States. In this region, there are Scandinavian, German, Polish and Russian populations, so the Christian denominations are varied with Lutheranism, Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity, all in need of increased youth ministry. In the 1980s, when many of today’s adults were growing up under communist rule, there was a significant lack of discussion about God. For many who are now the parents of teens, there is confusion about how to provide their children with spiritual direction. In 2009, Latvian churches invited Young Life to come to this region and help them meet the growing need. Experienced Young Life leaders from Ukraine relocated and are committed to expanding the work in all the Baltics. Young Life is​​excited to provide camps, clubs, family support and a close partnership with the church community.

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400 Nearly

kids attended three winter and eight summer camps

3

Clubs in cities: Riga, Liepaja, Vecmelgravis

Average club attendance:

135

One staff and

17

volunteer leaders


partingshots

Summer staff lifeguards have the best month of their lives while serving at Woodleaf. Every summer, college students volunteer a month of their time to serve campers in a number of positions that require maturity, patience, leadership and care.

1.

2.

1. Friends bonding at club in Ecuador. 2. Lost Canyon adult guests enjoying the sights in nearby Sedona, Arizona.


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P.O. Box 520 Colorado Springs, CO 80901 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED

Create a lifetime income stream for today, create a gift to Young Life for tomorrow. T H E YO U N G L I F E C H A R I TA B L E G I F T A N N U I T Y P RO G R A M

Create a CGA with a gift of cash or securities (Generally appropriate for people age 60 and above) and enjoy the following benefits: Receive fixed payments for life for one or two persons. Rates are generally higher than CDs. Immediate tax deduction. Favorable capital gains treatment for gifts of long-term securities. Receive a higher payout if you defer the payments to a future date. Support the Young Life area of your choosing. After your passing, what is leftover goes to charity.

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For more information and your own custom illustration, contact Jeff Rudder at: 800-813-1945 | jrudder@sc.younglife.org Or, you can write Jeff at Young Life, Box 520, Colorado Springs, CO 80901. The information contained herein is for explanatory purposes and is not intended to be used as tax or legal advice. The Young Life Foundation recommends that you contact a professional tax advisor who can provide you with information on how the use of techniques and ideas in this piece may apply to your personal tax situation.

Relationships Spring 2015  

Relationships is a publication of Young Life, a mission devoted to introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their fa...

Relationships Spring 2015  

Relationships is a publication of Young Life, a mission devoted to introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their fa...

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