YFC President: ‘Something Powerful Happens When These Amazing Young People Feel Heard, Seen and Believe They Belong’
October 4, 2021
Denver— The lives of members of the military and their families are extraordinarily difficult. While recent reports indicate that suicide rates are climbing among those in the armed forces, many military families struggle with the unconventional lifestyle as well. One source reports that approximately two million military children have experienced a parental deployment since 2001, and the continual separations and increased hazards of deployment create high anxiety in many military children’s lives. The same report states that one third of school-age military children show psychosocial behaviors such as being anxious, worrying often, and crying more frequently.
For Youth For Christ (YFC, www.yfc.net), a fixture in the youth ministry community in America for the past 77 years, these statistics emphasize the importance of their Youth For Christ Military outreach. Designed to be a place for every military teen to belong, YFC Military is uncovering God’s story of hope in the next generation of military-connected young people. YFC partners with local chaplains, churches, schools and other like-minded organizations to reach military-connected youth through unconditional, authentic Christ-sharing relationships.
Jacob Bland, president and CEO of YFC, stated, “Military life requires sacrifice, and military-connected youth proudly join in their family’s tradition of sacrificing for the good of strangers. But frequent moves and living life in the absence of a deployed parent is tough. As a result, military-connected youth often feel overlooked and struggle to find where they belong. This is why YFC Military is so important for these young people. Something powerful happens when these amazing young people feel heard, seen and believe they belong.”
One former YFC Military student, Rhiannon, stated, “YFC Campus Life will always be special to me because it’s where I met Jesus. Each week I heard about the Bible and ate with friends; it was my favorite part of the week and a safe place. The people I met in Campus Life are lifetime friends who support and encourage me in my faith like they did seven years ago when I was first encountering Jesus. I was baptized surrounded by these same people and they have never stopped showing me His love.”
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 wide variety of challenging issues—and through the ministry God empowers through YFC, they see the living power of a loving God. YFC trains its leaders in a proven, relational ministry model called 3Story®, which 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 137 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.