August 2018
"Now I Know that I Am Loved"
by Joel Fether,
Eastside City Life

“That’s the house where my dad sells crack.” 

While I was driving several students to our City Life club meeting one night "Nancy" uttered these words. She spoke with a practiced detachment that was sadder to me than if she’d been sobbing with tears streaming down her face. 
 
Nancy has been coming to City Life for the last few years, but she’s been pretty tough to work with. Most of the time she walks through life with an “I don’t care” attitude. We believe Nancy is a bright and caring young woman at heart and has adopted an uncaring attitude as a defense against the pain in her life. In addition to abusing drugs, her dad is uncaring, absent and verbally abusive, often saying very hurtful things to Nancy. Words like that aren’t easily forgotten. CLICK HERE FOR REST OF STORY
"I'm So Proud of These Young Ladies"
by Tami Strack, Teen Parents Director
“In May I had the amazing privilege to watch five of YFC’s Teen Parents earn their high school diplomas. This is no small task! Our teen moms face many challenges and obstacles in their lives. At times just making the effort to come to class is all they can do. But they do come, and they learn and they commit to graduate from high school so they can pursue opportunities in school or a career. I am so proud of these young ladies, and truly inspired by their fortitude. Thank you for helping make this possible for them and for the young ladies who are still working to make this goal a reality for them and their children.”
VOLUNTEER PROFILE: Beth Trapp
Beth volunteers for our Teen Parents program at the City Life Center.
How did you learn about YFC? 
Last spring, a former teaching colleague, Dona Montgomery, invited me to Be the Story where I learned of all the ways YFC was influencing young people in our community. I was looking for a way to be involved with something special and God’s timing was perfect.

Why do you choose to volunteer for Teen Parents? 
Teenagers are amazing! I taught high school math for eight years before starting my own business and have a passion for relating to this crucial age, especially when these girls are seeking guidance and love. To be able to use my math (and now chemistry, English, etc!) and teaching skills with these girls who are working toward graduation has been a bonus.   

What do you like about volunteering?  
Working with Teen Parents on Tuesdays is one of the best parts of my week. Simply walking alongside these girls to help with homework, lend an ear, chat about their little ones, or offer a ride to YFC is a blessing to us both. It’s truly amazing how much you receive when you volunteer. The girls appreciate you being there -- even if they may not say it every time. Anything I can do to show the character of Jesus and make the challenges in their lives a bit more manageable, I’m in.
How has this experience impacted you?
I’ve never been so immersed in a culture I didn’t know, and it is the best thing that could ever happen. My heart breaks to know what these girls are facing when they leave YFC for the afternoon, and that shapes my prayer life and urges my sharing to others about how we all can actually make a difference.
Do you have a favorite story from Teen Parents you'd like to share?
I’ve grown much closer with one girl I pick up and drop off each week, and I think we both look forward to the drive together to chat about life. She has opened up considerably, and I love that our conversations go from trying a new mascara to plans for the next stages of life. This past week the sun was shining and the day was far too nice to go home right away. We stopped off at a park to let her little girl play. The giggles and smiles all around were amazing. God is molding our relationship around trust, and I look forward to watching her grow and graduate and do something amazing!

Here's What Happened at Camp
JV Camp
by Sarah Sanz
We brought 26 kids to JV Camp. Three kids accepted Christ. We talked about the life of Paul and how God used Ananias in his life. Topics included listening to God's voice even when it is difficult, how Paul was the "worst of all sinners," and how to give honor to God. Marc Johnson and Cat Myers did a great job with the teachings.

On top of the teachings we had fun ziplining, going to the pool, riding the giant swing, playing games and hanging out.
Mohican Valley Missions Trip
by Katie Campbell
We are back from an awesome week at our MVM service trip. We took 61 students from West side, East side and Johnstown, and 13 work crew team members. We talked about the life of Jacob, including topics like family, favoritism, fighting for attention, desire for love, and fighting with God. From the start kids started sharing how they have been affected by favoritism. Some students cried as they shared pain in their stories, some sharing hard things for the first time. As the week progressed students shared more and more and also experienced God's love more and more.
Many of our students said that God spoke to them personally, showed them the next steps to take on their faith journey, and shared with others some of the deep issues they were holding onto.

"Cena", one of our students, has been friends with "Jake" since the third grade. He has been coming around to City Life for about a year. He would describe himself as agnostic and had doubts about God. On the trip, Jake said he came to learn more and figure out what he believes. Cena had a conversation with Jake about Jesus during their free time, which resulted in Jake accepting Jesus as Lord. He then went into his cabin and cried tears of joy. 

Please continue to pray for the students and leaders who went to MVM.
"Why I Do What I Do"
Satara Hairston, Juvenile Justice Ministries
About five years ago I attended a Youth for Christ camp in Oregon. I remember the pivotal moment that changed the direction of my stubborn heart pertaining to my “career.” After an emotional skit one night at camp, one of the leaders told the students to close their eyes and “raise your hand if you’ve ever thought about committing suicide.” I was on stage so I got to see all the hands go up -- about 70% of the students in the room! I wept, and could only think “How can I NOT serve/work in this field? I have to give back.”
Two months after this, my mentor told me about an internship opportunity at the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center. It’s part of YFC’s Juvenile Justice Ministry. I was desperate to quit my job at the time so I said YES, not knowing I was walking into my deepest and greatest passion. I absolutely love this ministry field, at-risk teens who are incarcerated. What I love most is seeing the many miracles of Christ. I’ve seen youth transformed right before my eyes while being locked up. I have seen youth trust God with their cases and have gotten the chance to watch God work His power in these court cases as well as in their lives. I’ve watched youth get sent to prison and remain faithful to God. Those are among the many things I love about working with the youth at the Juvenile Detention Center.


JJM in Christianity Today
The National Director of YFC's Juvenile Justice Ministries, Eric Kelly, has written an inspiring article in Christianity Today about ministry to incarcerated teens. CLICK HERE to read the article.

Would You Like to Work with Incarcerated Youth?
COYFC is looking for committed volunteers to help share Christ's love with males and females who are incarcerated in Central Ohio's juvenile detention centers. If you would like more information, contact Sayuri Ayres at sayres@coyfc.org.
Serve Teens Alongside Us
PRAY - For our staff and volunteers who spend many hours serving the teens and their families.

SHARE - Tell others about COYFC and how they can join our mission to at-risk youth. Tell them about our Blog where we post stories from our work. CLICK HERE

GIVE - Our mission together is yielding great rewards. Thank you for your investment into the cause. CLICK HERE

VOLUNTEER - If you'd like to use your talents to advance YFC's mission, CLICK HERE for more details.

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Central Ohio Youth for Christ | 614.848.4870 | www.coyfc.org