Growing Kids

I recently broke my clavicle and one of my long-time mentees called me to check in. After talking a while, he asked, “Beau, Is there anything I can do to help you?” When I mentioned, My lawn could really use a shave!” Without hesitation, he said he would be right over. We had a good chat after he finished with the lawn, and I felt overcome with love for him and could tell he was feeling the same for me. He’s told me many times that he thinks of me as a father. I’ve done a lot for him over the years, and we’ve walked through some tough things together. For him to not even hint at receiving payment for his work made me swell with pride in his growth and character. Although… we will need to discuss proper lawn mowing procedure which includes emptying the bag afterwards!
 
Thank you for growing these kids!
 
BEAU JESKA,  71Five Justice Ministry Director  
(541) 601-9631 | beau@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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Prayer for Kaleb

Mia brings her young son Kaleb to 71Five Parents faithfully. Each night at group we pray before our dinner. Although they’re not required to pray, they’re requested to be quiet and respectful. Many nights when I’m praying young Kaleb will make faces to his sister, start sneaking bites of food, or just look around. The other night when I finished praying, I opened my eyes and Mia said “Look!” She showed me a picture she snapped of Kaleb while I was praying; his hands folded, and eyes closed tight. He made an unprompted choice to ignore all the distractions. That night Kaleb closed his precious little eyes and prayed with us.
 
71Five Parents has a unique opportunity to impact two generations at one time. Thank you for bringing real change in Kaleb’s life.
 
TERESA TONINI,  71Five Parents Coordinator  
(541) 941-1143 | teresatonini@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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Transformed By The Fire

As I’ve worked with kids over the years, I’m often stunned by the amount of pain I see in their lives. I’ve noticed young teens are fairly quick to share their struggles and hurts. I’ve also noticed they often feel like they’re shouting into the wind, and nothing happens. This is when they choose to shut their mouths and things go dark and silent. They get cynical and feel nothing matters anymore because no one cares.
 
A couple weeks ago I went to our Middle School Camp and attended the campfire where kids shared their stories. Yet again I was shocked by how hurt many of the young people are. They were sharing struggles and hurts hoping for someone to care. I was blessed to see the kids weren’t shouting into the wind. Staff and other young people were coming to stand with them, listening, encouraging, and letting them know they’re loved. The kids also heard the message that God loves them and proved it by sending Jesus. During that campfire I saw in real time, lives were being transformed.
 
You provide the answer kids need when it feels like they’re shouting into the wind. They discover there is trust that leads to hope, indestructible and eternal. Thank you!!
 
BUD AMUNDSEN,  71Five Executive Director  
(541) 301-0897 | bud@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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Hit & Miss

At 71Five VoTech – Medford we’re usually not training during this time of the year. However, we were asked to do one more 6-week class before summer break. At first this seemed like quite a stretch after a long school year. Additionally, this limits our time to prepare for the next school year. An announcement was sent out to test the interest. To our surprise we had a very large turnout for this summer session. Most of the students arrive 15-20 minutes early for each class and some stay and hang out way beyond the family style dinner we serve after class. During our group discussions at dinner, we’ve had students chatting between themselves about how going through drug rehabilitation really helped them. One of our students told us the other night, “I really need to be in 71Five VoTech right now.” Another student will be headed to college soon after graduating this session. He’s trying to prepare for independent living. One of our sessions is an introduction to the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting system, which he’s using to work through this process.
 
Sometimes we’re asked to trust God by doing what doesn’t make sense. What we thought would be hit and miss attendance has turned into a life changing six weeks for both the students and the instructors. Thank you for making these life changing encounters possible.
 
JEFF KEENER,  71Five VoTech Assistant Coordinator – Medford 
(541) 890-8960 | jeffkeener@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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She Belongs

New things can be difficult sometimes, especially for Savanah. Middle School is a tough time in general even if you aren’t the “new kid.” It’s easy to find yourself feeling like an outcast, which is what Savanah has felt at past youth groups she’s attended. Savanah has autism, which makes it especially difficult for her to feel like she belongs, and she was hesitant the first time she came to 71Five Campus – Eagle Point. It was hard at first to find the courage to attend, but when she did, she instantly loved being there and made several new friends. Savanah finally found somewhere she could be herself, make friends, and be included in activities with all the other kids. She says, “Going to 71Five is the highlight of my entire week,” and she can’t wait to come on Fridays.
 

Thank you for being a part of Savanah’s journey. I can’t wait to see what God continues to do in her life through 71Five.

PETER KUHL,  71Five Campus – Eagle Point Coordinator  
(541) 630-0648 | peter@71Five.org
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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A Sudden Change . . .

Tim regularly attends clubs at 71Five City but he’s shown no interest in the teaching or discussions… until recently. All of a sudden he’s had an openness to the gospel! Each week we set aside time to talk about Jesus – the One who trades places with us, the One who gives us His perfect life in place of our sinful one. This is how we are truly transformed and given a brand new start in life! I noticed that he was not just asking questions and listening during our teaching time but I also saw changes in his behavior during clubs. It’s encouraging to see kids making real life decisions to believe in Jesus and follow Him. It’s absolutely awesome when you see these young people’s hearts change – it’s such joy to see! Tim ended up asking me to baptize him this past week!
 
Thank you for partnering with us as we are putting the seeds in these kid’s hearts. You never know when it will land on good soil! My wife’s whole family got saved when her grandpa asked Jesus into his heart as a young boy. He went to church by himself and ended up leading his parents and siblings to Christ. Great things can happen and entire families’ destinies can be changed when even one child’s heart is transformed by the gospel!
 
SHANE SKIRVIN,  71Five City – Liberty Park Coordinator  
(541) 646-1475 | shane@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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Summer Camp Chaos

Sometimes club runs smoothly, sometimes it doesn’t. I started to notice that each week, there was a whirlwind of chaos that was ensuing. Wherever this chaos was, so was this particular student. After confronting this student several times with little to no change in her behavior, I knew I had to talk to her parents. I told her mom that with the way she is treating others and disrespecting leaders, we are going to have to take a break from club for a couple of weeks. With Middle School Summer Camp around the corner, her mom decided to not allow her to go as a disciplinary action. I prayed about it for a couple days and felt the Lord nudging me to revisit the conversation with the mom. I called her back to share with her that after praying about this student, I really felt that she needed to go to camp. 71Five Camp isn’t necessarily only for kids with good behavior, it is especially for those who struggle to make good decisions. I went on to explain that camp is a safe place surrounded with leaders who are ready to correct, encourage, motivate, and love on young people hurting. There are many relationships to navigate during camp so it’s the perfect environment to practice social skills.
 
Before I hung up the phone, the mom was already agreeing with what God had spoken to my heart. Not only did the student attend camp, she also appreciated the opportunity. I know this because she thanked me for believing in her and knowing that she has potential. I want to thank you for not only knowing that these youth have potential, but for giving them the opportunity to build trusting relationships that lead to hope.
 
FARRAH GUTHRIE,  71Five City – Grants Pass Coordinator  
(541) 840-6544 | farrah@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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Care Like Jesus

Marcy is a young mom who often attends 71Five Parents. She offered to make a side dish to go with one of our weekly dinners and it was delicious. Feeling grateful, I wrote a little note thanking her for what she had done in making food to share with everyone. The next day she said, “When I read the card, I began to cry.” Mary shared that the card meant so much to her that she taped it to her wall so she could see it every day. Many of the youth we meet have had few adults in their life that have shown consistent care and love to them. Marcy has received so few words of affirmation that what I wrote as a sincere thank you, was a treasured symbol of love from someone who genuinely cares and values her.
 
Thank you for the impact you are having on Marcy, her child’s life, and all the young people in our area by caring for others like Jesus.
 
TERESA TONINI,  71Five Parents Coordinator  
(541) 941-1143 | teresatonini@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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Better Than One

A few weeks ago, 71Five held our annual 71Five Golf Challenge. Other than supporting the ministry financially, it also gives our kids a chance to help out and gain a scholarship for summer events. One of the kids from 71Five Campus – Ashland decided to volunteer and experienced a memorable moment. Since I had another obligation that morning, my mom picked the kid up from his house. They hit it off quickly, talking about ‘oldies’ music and what it was like to raise me. Soon the conversation got deeper until the young man started to talk about personal issues. Like, whether he should pursue the girl at school and what’s the big deal about being a Christian? When I heard about this, I wondered why he hadn’t talk to me about these things. Then I realized even though he’s shared other challenges with me, having him connect with another trusting adult allowed him to open up more.
 
I’m learning a relationship network creates a deeper impact in the life of a young person. One caring adult is critical but more than one is substantially better. I invite you to come join our relational network. You will make an Impact… Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. [Ecclesiastes 4:9]
 
LEIF AMUNDSEN, 71Five Campus Director – Ashland
(541) 840-0059 | leif@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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Foosball Challenge

“I don’t like middle schoolers,” James explained as he left his younger brother behind at 71Five City’s Kids Club. James, a high school sophomore who’s homeschooled, lives close to Station 71Five. It was his first time visiting. He didn’t even sit down for dinner. When I asked his brother about James’ decision to leave, he giggled saying that middle school traumatized him. A few days later I called out to James as he rode past on his skateboard. He hesitated to respond but eventually I was able to invite him to our Teen Night. He asked about middle schoolers. I told him there would be a few but that the total amount of teens would be a lot less than at Kids Club. He said he would think about it. A couple of weeks went by, then James came by with his brother. Spotting the foosball table, he challenged me to a match. Scoring one goal after another this timid kid turned into a smack talking foosball champion. He told me, “I should have warned you.” He’s returned at random times to defend his championship and has also become a regular at Teen Night where, believe it or not… he’s interacting with middle schoolers.
 
You gave James a place to grow in his experience and confidence. Thank you for sharing hope.
 
KEN RUIZ  71Five City – West Medford Coordinator  
(916) 519-4679 | ken@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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