YFC Military provides a safe environment for military-connected youth to be understood and appreciated
April 4, 2022
Denver— April is designated as the Month of the Military Child, which honors the valuable sacrifices military children make as part of a military family. There are currently 1.2 million military children of active duty members worldwide, and over 430,000 military-connected 11-19 year old youth stationed at U.S. military installations all over the world, with the average military family moving three times more often than their civilian counterparts.
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 young people connected to the military to feel like they belong, YFC Military is uncovering God’s story of hope in the next generation of military-connected youth. YFC partners with local chaplains, churches, schools and other like-minded organizations reaching youth through unconditional, authentic Christ-sharing relationships.
Maddie Spencer, YFC Military’s Ministry Director, stated, “As a YFC Military Community Director, I have had to learn the normal rhythms of Permanent Change of Station (PCS) season. We would make our best efforts to say goodbye to students, but often it was easier for them to leave quietly. It was a great joy when we were able to connect students to YFC Campus Life at their new base, knowing that there would be a welcoming and familiar ministry to make their transition easier. However, often, they are left with no foothold in their new community. Unfortunately, many don’t feel understood or welcomed by civilian youth groups. After a few weeks, they stop going and lose connection to a faith strengthening group.
“For military families across the world, the conflict in Ukraine is more than the news— it jumpstarted the waiting game of being called to serve. For military-connected youth, conflict not only means the departure of a parent, but the postponement of life plans. When conflicts arise, military families proudly serve despite missed graduations, extended deployments, and delayed moves that might involve transitioning partway through the school year.”
Spencer concluded, “In a season where they should be looking ahead to prom, sports, and graduations, military-connected youth are bracing to send off loved ones for long periods of time. As Christians pray for the people of Ukraine, they should remember to keep military families in their prayers.”
YFC chapters impact thousands of communities across the nation, seeking out and serving youth from all walks of life. Young people are silently struggling through a wide variety of challenging issues—and through the YFC ministry God empowers, 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 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 over 130 chapters that impact communities across America.