YFC in Peoria, Ill. Has Been Reaching Young People with Faith, Friendship, and the Fullness of Jesus Christ
August 2, 2021
PEORIA, Ill. — People have been perplexed for years about the problem of teen loneliness—and now comes a new study showing that loneliness, particularly among adolescent girls, has been increasing worldwide since 2012. Researchers say the issue is tied to an increased use of smartphones and the internet, with scholars continuing to study the connection between technology and loneliness. The global pandemic—and the isolation it’s caused—has made matters worse.
But there’s good news to report: The Peoria chapter of Youth For Christ (YFC, www.yfc.net) has been reaching teenagers and connecting with them effectively through faith-driven, focused, and on-the-ground activities.
YFC leaders recently “Ding Dong Ditched” students houses; had teachers film their own faith testimonies and post them for students to view on Instagram TV; began a phone app Bible study; and completed scores of Zoom calls and phone calls to engage and connect with teens one-on-one in the area. All of these activities and more remind young people that they are not alone. They have adults nearby who care about them—and more importantly, a Heavenly Father who sees them every single moment of every single day.
Says Campus Life Director of Peoria YFC, “It’s harder to minister to teens while ‘social distancing’—I’m not going to lie. But we’ve been checking in to encourage, love, and pray with them. We remind our teens that though the world has changed, God has not. We love teens! We enjoy teens. We think teens are worth a huge investment of love, time, energy, counsel, tears, laughter, and prayer. We go near students. We build relationships—and walk with teens through these wonderful, but usually difficult, years.”
Jacob Bland, YFC USA President and CEO, notes, “Thousands of YFC volunteer leaders make a difference every day because of their love for Jesus Christ and a calling to engage kids in tough places.”
Youth For Christ has 140 chapters across the United States. This September, YFC USA will be hosting a National Conference in Indianapolis that will focus on equipping and caring for YFC Leaders who creatively and authentically engage young people as they face pivotal moments in their lives, such as increased loneliness, mental health challenges, struggles in various family situations, and much more.
YFC creates a transformational environment for young people ages 11-19 through authentic relationships, shared experiences, outdoor adventure, prayer opportunities, and more. YFC chapters impact 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 through the effective, consistent work of YFC, they see the living power of a loving God. YFC encourages staff and volunteers to be good news while also sharing the stories of the Good News of Jesus 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 approximately 140 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.