As America Celebrates Veterans Day, YFC Reaches Out to Youth Connected to the Military
November 8, 2021
Denver— The lives of members of the military and their families are extraordinarily difficult. There are approximately 430,000 children ages 11-18 of active-duty members worldwide. The majority of military families will move up to three times more than their civilian counterparts. The continual separations between parents and children 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 than children who are not connected to the military lifestyle.
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 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.”
Several YFC Military staff members, volunteers, and youth commented on the outreach, with one stating, “YFC was a safe place for all of us to be open and honest and share what we were going through.” Another commented, ‘“Come as you are and we will show you the love of Jesus…’ It’s a value I learned through YFC.” One staff member said, “I love being able to serve kids wherever God, via the military, takes me!”
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 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.