Military Families Never Get Used to ‘Saying Goodbye,’ When Deployed So YFC Says, ‘How Can I Serve You?’
September 21, 2020
LAKENHEATH, England— Every day, men and women in the United States armed forces don a uniform and pay a price to protect American lives and liberty around the globe. Campus Life Military, an arm of Youth For Christ (YFC, yfc.net), is serving these heroes by coming alongside their kids to share the love of Christ with them and bolster their confidence as they frequently relocate with their parents to bases throughout the U.S. and world.
Just because those who protect America say goodbye to their families when they are deployed more often than their civilian friends probably do doesn’t make the adjustment easy. YFC Campus Life Militarypoints to the sacrifices of military families as an imitation of Christ’s own sacrifice to save mankind from sin and death. Touched by the sacrifice of military parents, one YFC staffer working with Campus Life Military says it is an honor to serve these families by pouring into their teens.
“If you work with Campus Life Military specifically, you will learn very quickly what it’s like to always have to say ‘goodbye,’” one YFC staffer said. “I don’t think there’s anything closer to reflecting Jesus as laying your life down for your friend. When I look at the military men and women who are laying their lives down for people they don’t even know, it is a privilege to be on the receiving end of that. So again, how can I help you? What can I do for you for what you’re doing? And if it’s speaking truth into the lives of your kids, well that’s the least I can do.”
One teen recipient of YFC’s military outreach says his family’s relocation and his father’s deployment heightened his awareness of his need for God.
“I lived in Japan for nine years,” the teen said. “I’ve lived in England for three years. I’ve traveled around Europe. I’ve been to Korea and for me personally, when my dad was gone, I definitely felt a need to rely on God for strength because it was tough, and not knowing where he was — just seeing the news was really frightening. And so there’s always that worst-case scenario in your head, so I definitely had to rely on God.”
That’s the kind of teenager YFC is reaching, because Campus Life Military is honored to serve in the name of Jesus, says one staff member.
“Through YFC Military, Youth For Christ has the amazing opportunity to serve those that serve our country,” the staff member said. “And those that are stepping out front and are paying a price and are sacrificing, we can come alongside them and use the unique gifts that God has given us to further their mission as well.”
Youth For Christ staff and volunteers like the ones working with Campus Life Military are encouraged by the YFC 3Story concept, which grows out of the belief that kids will be reached for Christ when they are met at their point of need, and as workers connect their stories with Jesus’s story. YFC recognizes that because military kids will always face “goodbyes,” deep connections must always come through relationships built by a mentor who loves them and loves Jesus.
3Story calls on YFC staffers to Love God, Love Others, Love Always, and that’s what YFC Campus Life Military is doing for the kids of servicemen and women around the country.
“I think it’s incredibly important for kids to know that even with all the moving around, they’re still cared about,” a staff member said. “They’re important and valued. And there’s people in their lives — including adults — who want to spend time and invest in them. It really helps them.”
Youth For Christ’s 3Story encourages staff and volunteers to be good news while telling stories of the Good News of Jesus. It involves building relationships through day-to-day life in order to lead people to Christ. For more information, visit 3Story.org.
To watch a video about Campus Life Military, click here.
Nationally, Youth For Christ is telling inspiring stories like these through#YFCBeTheStory, an initiative to help spread the word across the nation about how YFC chapters are making a difference in their communities.
Youth For Christ 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 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 more than 160 chapters impacting communities across America.
To interview a Youth For Christ representative, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Patrick Benner, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.