Youth For Christ Camp 2021 Was Full of Light—And a Life Was Saved
August 23, 2021
FRESNO, Calif. – On the heels of the 2020 summer of darkness, fear and confusion due to the pandemic, the Youth For Christ (YFC, www.yfc.net) Campthis year in Fresno/Madera was full of the light of Christ. After a year of struggles and daily concerns about the coronavirus and schoolwork, students thrived in an environment full of games, circling up for messages, small group discussions, snow cones, and sunburns.
For nearly 80 years,Fresno/Madera Youth For Christ has been sharing the good news and the light of Jesus Christ with youth in Fresno and Madera counties.
“YFC Camp gives our ministry leaders the opportunity to bring Christ’s healing and love to the sin, pain, and brokenness that lies right beneath the surface of our young people,” says Jameson White, Executive Director of the Youth For Christ Fresno/Madera.
White relays an incident that just happened this past month, where one staff member had to raise the alarm about a student who was suicidal and in serious trouble.
Says White, “‘Alice’ is a Campus Life kid who has been processing the loss of a friend, wondering about her purpose, and generally just struggling.”
Her text conversation with her leader recently took a very dark turn as she texted about depression, death, and suicide. A couple key questions and answers later, it was clear she had a plan and was waiting for the right time to end her own life. She was biding her time by “cutting” in the meantime.
“As our leaders hang with kids, love and listen, earn trust, and be real, the darkness that plagues them comes to light,” White explains.
The staff member preached the good news of Jesus to her throughout the whole thread, spoke to her of her value in Christ, of God’s great sacrifice for her, and of the love and purpose she has in the community. But he knew she needed some intervention.
White added, “With great training and policies in place, our staff member did the right and best thing by calling the authorities to intervene in Alice’s plan.”
When staff must intervene as in this instance, they understandably worry about possibly losing the relationship, but in truth he saved her life, and demonstrated tangible care.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).
“Alice’s darkness was being confronted in word and deed with the bright light of God’s love,” said White.
“If it were his own daughter he would have done no less,” he says about the YFC leader. “We believe in faith that Alice will come around to see those things and that the conversations will resume.
“These are really critical and hard moments,” White continued. “Whether it’s intervening in a suicidal plan, or leading a kid to Christ at camp (praise God!), darkness is overcome by light.”
YFC Fresno/Madera is looking forward to their seventh Annual 5k Froyo Run on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 7:30am PT. The event will support the local YFC Campus Life ministry. All 5k participants will receive a new running shirt, a takeaway bag, a finishers medal, and of course, free frozen yogurt. To find more information and register for the event, click here.
YFC haschapters impacting thousands of communities across the nation that seek out and serve youth from all walks of life. Many teens are silently struggling through a variety of challenging issues—and now they see the living power of a loving God. YFC encourages staff and volunteers to be good news while also sharing the stories of the Good News of Jesus. It involves building relationships through the ups and downs of everyday life in order to lead people to Christ.
YFC has been a pillar of missional ministry since 1944, when the Rev. Billy Graham served as YFC’s first full-time staff member. Since then, Youth For Christ has continued to be both a rural and urban ministry on mission, and it is always about the message of Jesus. YFC reaches young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other like-minded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus who lead by their godliness in lifestyle, devotion to the Word of God and prayer, passion for sharing the love of Christ, and commitment to social involvement. Youth For Christ operates in over 100 nations and has approximately 140 chapters that impact communities across America.
To interview a Youth For Christ representative, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.