Joy Experienced through YFC Ministry Programs Makes It Easy to Be Grateful
November 23, 2020
ENGLEWOOD, colo.— The year 2020 has been filled with COVID-19 concerns. But it has also been filled with gratitude for the many good news stories that the Youth For Christ (YFC) team has experienced through the love of Christ that permeates their programs, this year and every year.
The West Michigan YFC Deaf Teen Quest and YFC Campus Life Military are two Youth For Christ programs that have shown that a dedicated mission to serve God through their ministries have given many a reason to express thankfulness this year.
The West Michigan YFC Deaf Teen Quest ministry reaches out to teens experiencing this isolation because of hearing loss—with the love, acceptance, hope and grace of Jesus.
YFC’s Deaf Teen Quest ministry gives teens the opportunity to build relationships with people who have the shared experience of hearing loss. But the ministry is so much more.
“When we’re together, the focus isn’t on hearing loss—it’s just on being together,” said West Michigan Youth For Christ Deaf Teen Quest Director Ellen Kammeraad.
Kammeraad and her team connect with deaf and hard of hearing students through a ministry designed specifically for building Christ-centered, life-changing relationships. Teams of caring Christian adults enter the world of deaf teenagers for “fun, friendship, fellowship and faith.” The YFC Deaf Teen Quest ministry provides a healthy peer group environment with Christian role models to help deaf teens develop a mature faith that makes a positive difference in the world.
The coronavirus crisis has posed challenges for the group, but creativity and a passion to share Christ’s love rules the day. The YFC Deaf Teen Quest ministrycreates daily connection by posting a fun question or challenge within a Facebook group, which gives all involved a chance to interact with one another as they post video responses.
Kammeraad said she has been “blown away” by the fact that God is not only sustaining ministry during this time of COVID-19, but He’s providing growth for Youth For Christ as well.
One participant signed via video his appreciation for the close-knit YFC Deaf Teen Quest family.
“I like our Deaf Teen Quest ministry family because they’ve helped me with God and other things,” the young man said. “The Deaf Teen Quest ministry is a lot of fun to go to. I liked camp because I met new friends who are hearing and deaf. We all came together, which was cool. I want to be with more deaf people than just me, you know? I like the Deaf Teen Quest ministry because we’re all like a family.”
Like the YFC Deaf Teen Quest ministry, the YFC Campus Life Military program seeks to build familial relationships with teens. YFC Campus Life Military serves American 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 YFC Campus Life Military says it is an honor to serve these families by pouring into their teens.
“I don’t think there’s anything closer to reflecting Jesus as laying your life down for your friend,” one YFC staffer said. “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.”
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.
“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, “the teen said. “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.”
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, Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096, ext. 105, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.