REACH Update: YoungLife
University City United Methodist Church, I want to thank you for your support of Spartanburg YoungLife. Because of your support we are able to reach hundreds of kids around the county each day. There are 30 leaders that include staff and volunteers that each day is able to minister to students throughout the county. On Monday nights both high schools put on their respective clubs where about 80-120 kids that attend depending on the season. On Wednesday and Friday nights each middle school has club; we have seen this area grow so much. There are about 150 students who participate; we have had over 25 kids signed up for summer camp!
Wednesday nights we have campaigners for Dorman (one of the local high schools) students. Campaigners is an intensive bible study. There are between 25-30 kids who participate in Campaigners! Last year when I first started this group there were only two high school girls, a college leader and I; we now have grown this group to a healthy place! The Lord was moving at this school and we didn’t even know it. It might have taken time but we have seen this group grow to a healthy place.Two guys, Nic and Douglas, have been two guys who I have grown really close with over this year in YoungLife.
Nic was a kid that came around to YoungLife and I noticed one day that he was wearing a wrestling shirt; which lead to a conversation about wrestling (I wrestled in high school). After talking with him about wrestling I decided to see if I could help coach the team. Nic is a very smart kid, he’s in the top of his class and he is also a very good wrestler; he placed 2nd at State this year. With all of the great things happening in his life, he still feels lonely at times. There were also some feelings of pressure from his dad to do increasingly better at things. After Nic began to talk with me about these things, our relationship grew stronger. He has a huge heart for people and a very strong and personal relationship with Jesus. He wants his friends to have the same close relationship with Jesus that has given him hope and encouragement. From this desire, Nic has decided to invite to Summer Camp as many of his friends who will come. When we first sat down to talk about camp he came with a list of his friends he was praying for and wanted to invite to camp; he is even raising money (all on his own) to help off-set the expenses of camp for his friends for whom finances will be a barrier to attending camp! It has been such a blessing to watch the Lord work through him and see his heart for people and Christ grow so much. Please join me in praying that God will continue to incline Nic’s heart to him and to give him opportunities to share hope with his friends.
Douglas is a junior who, before this year, didn’t really participate in anything YoungLife related. I met him last year through Nic and he came to club once. During the summer Douglas hung around Nic a lot which led to Douglas and I getting to know each other better. Since club started in the fall Douglas hasn’t missed a single week! This spring he started attending Campaigners; he doesn’t say much but (from our one-on-one interactions) he is thinking a lot about what we discuss. Douglas is an excellent baseball player who recently signed to play for a Division 1 school. This is great thing but from getting to know him, it’s also something he feels like he has to do. His dad was a very good player when he was in college and even played in the minor league. Douglas has said that he occasionally feels like the only time his dad talk to him is when they are discussion baseball. Recently his parents have decided to go through with a divorce and this has impacted him greatly. His mom lives further from the school than his dad so he stays with his dad during the week. He has told me a number of times he looks forward to the weekends so he doesn’t have to be at home with his dad—he is in constant search for acceptance. Douglas has decided to go to summer camp this year and I’m really looking forward to spending a week with him and getting him away from all the things back home. Please join me in praying that God will continue to affirm Douglas and remind him of the immense love that he has for him.
I really can’t thank each of you enough for your support; it helps me to continue to serve kids like Nic and Douglas. Your support has enabled me to serve at Dorman High School and all across Spartanburg County. You are truly reaching around the corner and around the world. Thank you.
Please join me in praying that God will continue to open doors here in Spartanburg County for the message of his gospel to go forward. Please pray for us all here at Spartanburg YoungLife as we search for a new Area Director. Thank you, University City; you are making great impact.