Over the summer I normally try to post a couple things that I learned over the previous school year. These are a little late, but I really wanted to pass them along anyway. Also if you have anything you learned from last year that you would like to tell me about, send it my way smcgever (at) pv dot younglife dot org
In my community there is an often-avoided neighborhood nestled in an otherwise pleasant and upscale part of town. In the past years this area has been one of the most violent square miles in our state and has faced other significant challenges.
In this neighborhood there is a middle school and a team of amazing teachers who love their students. I remember meeting with one of the teachers five years ago. She has an amazing heart for Christ and for her students. Many of her students come back to her classroom after school weekly, even when they are in high school and beyond. She knew that Young Life would be a great bridge to connect these kids to Christ. When we met five years ago we dreamed of opening a Wyldlife club at the school. In fact she had one kid in particular on her heart that needed Wyldlife right away. Over the years we were able to get some of the kids to YL camps and occasionally to club. We kept praying and strategizing to reach these kids. Then a little over a year ago the kid who needed Wyldlife desperately four years earlier was finally convinced to go to Woodleaf. He met Christ in a powerful way and started growing quickly in his faith.
In the last year we finally started that Wyldlife club. Fortunately we had four years of leaders built up and one key leader who we had been praying for five years. In its first year the club regularly had over 50 kids at club and the same amount at camp, strong campaigners and the leadership is thriving.
What I learned this year is not to give up. The timing was perfect this year but wouldn’t have been right any sooner. It reminds me of Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Sometimes things fall into place right away, sometimes it takes five years, sometimes it takes longer, but I encourage you to not give up.