Making An Impact

 

Navigating the teen years is a challenge, an adventure, and exciting ride...a scary ride!  It's a time of life when you're searching for serious answers and serious direction.  It's also a time when you feel all alone.  Young Life leaders in North Central Washington understand where teens are at, and have an ear and heart to listen, to hang out, to help get through this volitile and crazy time!  If you are a teen or know a teen that is looking for a lot of fun and some real answers to what's going on, come chill with us.  Young Life is a place you can be real, be yourself, be accepted and have a great time.

My Heroes

Young Life and Wyldlife leaders are my heroes, and I'll tell you why.  To get there, I have to tell you about an interaction today with my 7th grade daughter Katie.

I'm a new Wyldlife leader at Sacajawea middle school where Katie goes to school. She's been in Wyldlife since this fall, and does a great job inviting friends, and helping everyone have fun. And she loves her leaders. She's one of those kids that actually make’s life pretty easy on leaders- well, except her Dad.

Today was the first day that I did "contact work" at lunchtime during 1st lunch with Katie there.  She was very interested to find out what her 39-year old dad would be doing in the middle school cafeteria.  Here's the conversation.

Katie: "What do you do when you come to school at lunchtime"?
Me: "I will meet some boys, hang out and get to know them"
Katie: "You know that won't go well".

Katie knows what many folks have never experienced- that it is a HUGE challenge for adults to walk into the world of teens, and just "hang out".  In our current society, most teens have been trained to put adults who walk on their campus that don't work there as either:

1.) A Narc
2.) A "creeper"
3.) Someone who does not have a life.

Either way, it's tough to cross these barriers, to put up with a little (or a lot) of rejection, in order to see past the facade of teens and to take the time to get to know them.  That's why YL and Wyldlife leaders are my heroes.  I tell people all the time, "if you can be a good YL leader, you can do almost anything", because it requires so much trust in God, and courage to take a risk.  When terms like "table clearing" (when a YL leader walks up to a lunch table to talk with kids, and the whole table gets up and walks off- not cool!) is a commonly used phrase in our work, you know that it takes a special person.

So why do we do it?  Because we're committed to invest our lives not only in that small percentage of kids who "show up", like my daughter Katie- but we want to go after, to pursue, and to commit to loving no matter what, those kids that won't come to us, that won't make it easy.  That's why YL leaders are my heroes, and why I'm so passionate about seeing more leaders hanging out at more schools all over Eastern WA & Northern Idaho.

An excerpt from Mark Statema’s Prayer Email, 02-18-12

Address

Young Life NCentral Washington | 1200 S Miller St Wenatchee, WA 98801-3202

Phone: (509) 662-1480

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