Building Unconditional, Authentic Christ-sharing Relationships with Military Children Worldwide
April 12, 2021
DENVER, Colo.— “April marks the Month of the Military Child, when our nation pays tribute to the resilience and tenacity of our military children; over 2 million active duty, National Guard, Reserve and children of veterans who did not make the choice to serve, but live each day supporting their brave parents,” stated President Joe Biden in a White House proclamation regarding our nation’s military children.
For Youth For Christ (YFC) Campus Life Military (www.yfc.net/military), every month – and every day – is focused on the military child all over the world. The ministry supports military-connected youth and their families through unconditional, authentic Christ-sharing relationships. These relationships increase resiliency, empower good decision making, strengthen the bonds between teens and their families, and provide the opportunity for military-connected youth to become life-long followers of Jesus Christ.
YFC Campus Life Military strives to create an exciting yet safe space where every teenager can be themselves, become more resilient and hear the Good News of the Gospel. These amazing young people proudly serve their country as they move all over the world. They take on additional responsibilities to help their families and deal with normal teenage issues on top of military deployments and finding new friends for every move.
“Growing up in the military provides some amazing opportunities, such as moving around the world and experiencing different cultures,” stated Maddie Spencer, YFC Campus Life Military volunteer and former Campus Life Military student. “But these opportunities come at a great cost. The unique lifestyle of military-connected teens is most often isolating, lonely and in-transition. These teens must learn to be adaptable and able to make quick relational connections.
“YFC Campus Life Military staff are called and equipped to meet military-connected teens wherever they’re stationed. In Jesus’s ministry on earth we repeatedly saw His emphasis on living in community and making people feel seen. This is what we aim to model on installations. We want these amazing teens to know how seen and loved they are. Although they may feel misunderstood and overlooked, there is a God who knows them deeply. Our staff create Christ-centered community and invite these students into it. The family of Christ meeting the need of the earthly family they are separated from.”
Common activities at YFC Campus Life Military events include small groups, large gatherings and overnight events. The ministry hosts multi-day events such as camps and service projects. In addition to meeting YFC safety policies, with the guidance of the local installation chaplain YFC Campus Life Military events meet applicable military safety and force protection requirements.
“YFC Campus Life Military will always be special to me because it’s where I met Jesus,” said Rhiannon Gruenwald, former YFC Campus Life Military former student. “Each week I heard about the Bible, and ate with friends, it was my favorite part of the week and a safe place … I desperately wanted this relationship [with Jesus] but had no idea how to access it. I knew I wanted Jesus and started looking for answers everywhere, I joined a Bible study and sat quietly listening, overanalyzing everything, looking for a catch. But there isn’t one. The people I met [there] 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.
“In church I joined our worship team and built our children’s ministry creating a curriculum and ministering with our kids. I am the better version of myself that Jesus promised, and He is still helping me grow. I love the value of church as a hospital, come as you are, and we will show you the love of Jesus. It’s a value I learned in YFC Campus Life Military, I was shown the love of Jesus before I knew Him. It is a value I still treasure.”
YFC Campus Life Military locations include: Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Fort Meade, Maryland; Fort Belvoir, Virginia; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii; Eielson AFB, Alaska; Offutt AFB, Nebraska; RAF Alconbury, England; RAF Lakenheath, England; and RAF Mildenhall, England.
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 variety of challenging issues—and now they see the living power of a loving God.
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 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 more than 160 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.