As Students Prepare to Return to School in the Fall, YFC Continues to Introduce Young People to Christ During Pivotal Moments
July 19, 2021
DENVER, Colo.— After such a fragmented school year, parents, teachers, and students alike are all preparing for the start of the 2021-2022 school year with high hopes. However, the strain of the pandemic and its effects are taking a toll on the mental health of students across the country. According to a recent Fox News article, studies have shown that up to one-third of students have reported deteriorating mental health due to the coronavirus pandemic.
These troubling numbers have brought a new awareness to schools across the country. ABC News states, “So as districts prepare for the fall after the first full year during the coronavirus pandemic, many are looking at ways to help best address the mental health needs of students, especially those who may have experienced trauma, anxiety, or social isolation.”
For Youth For Christ (YFC, www.yfc.net), the importance of mental health awareness is nothing new. With the goal of reaching youth with the Gospel of Christ during their most crucial moments, YFC takes a ‘wholistic’ approach at creating meaningful relationships, looking at the physical, mental, and spiritual health of each student to reach his or her whole potential.
These relationships between the youth and leaders are key to the overall wellbeing of today’s youth, such as with Rain, a student who began coming to YFC’s Campus Life Ministry in the fall of 2019. Despite being entrenched in witchcraft and spells, Rain made a connection with Rebekah, one of YFC’s faithful caring adult leaders who understands the complexities of young people. Through this authentic, Christ-sharing relationship, Rain shared that she was struggling with her mental health and asked for help, and for the very first time, she felt like she wanted to have a relationship with Jesus. Rebekah and the YFC staff quickly connected her to a Christian counselor and encouraged her throughout the entire process.
“As ministry leaders, we use a relational approach to break the cycle these students tend to experience,” says Rebekah Cornell, Kern County YFC Campus Life Coordinator. “The pandemic lockdowns made it challenging to direct students to available resources, but we never gave up and sustained connections. Once lockdown restrictions were lifted in areas, we were able to get students the proper help they needed, but only because we kept those relationships active and at the forefront.”
Youth For Christ has chapters impacting thousands of communities across the nation that seek out and serve young people from all walks of life, just like Rain. Many are silently struggling through a variety of challenging issues. YFC encourages staff and volunteers to build authentic Christ-sharing relationships through the ups and downs of everyday life.
“By working together with local churches and like-minded partners, we have been able to better serve students like Rain to grow in their journeys with Jesus Christ,” Cornell added. “Nowadays, Rain is connected regularly with a counselor who works with teenagers and still participates in a youth group on a weekly basis. We are so grateful to continue reaching students and guiding them toward the life-changing help they may need as they soon navigate a new school year.”
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.