When Coronavirus challenged our programs in 2020, we picked up a magnifying glass and looked closely at our mission. We knew we didn’t need to host clubs or have family dinners in order to reach kids, but we did have to do some adjusting when COVID threatened to challenge the way we were reaching our young people.
Our young people desire to feel known. This was more true in the midst of quarantine. Instead, they were becoming detached, isolated and anxious about the future. Our team did some quick shifting and learning and found new ways to walk alongside our youth so they would know they weren’t alone. We needed them to know we were with them, even though we couldn’t be with them.
We hosted zoom lunches and ate together with students, screen-to-screen, instead of face-to-face. Our City Life team mobilized volunteers to deliver care packages, PPE, family meals, and graduation celebrations to the doorsteps of our urban youth from a safe social distance. Virtual small groups were hosted in different communities and social media groups were formed to teach students how to teach their friends about Jesus and what they were learning through scripture through social platforms — one of their only means of communication with limited facetime.
Our Juvenile Justice Ministry mobilized volunteers to write scripture on bananas and basketballs that would make it into the hands of young people behind the locked doors of Allen County Juvenile Center — whatever it takes to ensure the hope of Jesus would reach them in an uncertain time. Our team maintained relationships with students, and we made sure they knew someone was for them. If things were difficult at home, we worked to connect our youth with resources, give them a safe person to talk with, and a community full of transformational relationships that would point them to Jesus.
To our friends and generous supporters, thank you for your commitment to YFC through COVID and beyond. You are showing the young people of our community that we are with them.