If not here, then where?

Here at Youth 71Five Ministries our mission is all about seeing lives changed. At 71Five VoTech we only have the students for 12 weeks and then they graduate. Last night the doorbell rang and there was a young man and his family standing outside. “Sam will be graduating from your program in a few days.” they said, “But he loves VoTech and doesn’t want to leave! He hasn’t done well in school and being here is the best thing that’s happened to him.” Sam is one of our shining stars. So I suggested he join our next class, he asked, “How can I do that.” “You could be a student leader and assist me with teaching the new student’s.” You should have seen the smile on his face. Sam’s eyes lit up as he said, “I would rather be here than anywhere else.” His family nodded in agreement. To see a young man who struggled with school and life now be an excited student leader at 71Five VoTech is amazing. Not only can he attend class again but has found a purpose.
Because of your love and care for these young people, they have a place ‘here’ rather than out there somewhere. You provided a place of safety, encouragement, relationships, training and now, serving others… not to mention that we get to share the love of Jesus with him for another twelve weeks. Now that’s a life changed. Thank you!
LARRY LICATO,  71Five VoTech Coordinator – Medford 
(541) 890-1819 | larry@71Five.org
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB


[extra] intentionality

One of my favorite parts of working with youth is seeing them take steps of growth in leadership and their spiritual walk. Nate has been attending 71Five Campus in Eagle Point for over a year now, and he told me one week, “The last three years I’ve strayed from God, but I’m reading my Bible every day now and I realize that following Jesus isn’t just doing the right thing; it’s a relationship with Him.” The past several months, along with the growth in His relationship with Jesus, I have noticed Nate stepping into his student leader role with extra intentionality; helping out consistently and even jumping in to help with things before I ask him to. As one of my volunteers was teaching a Bible story I watched as Nate kept his eye on the younger kids, respectfully making sure they were paying attention. I wanted to express how proud I was so I immediately went and wrote him a thank you card for all of his help. All I was thinking in the moment was that I wanted him to know I was thankful and proud. What I didn’t realize was that one “thank you” would set up the following weeks with even more dedication from Nate to put his best foot forward. It’s amazing what a simple “Thank You” can do.
While I’m on the topic, “Thank You” for being a part of these kid’s lives and providing a safe place for them to grow in so many ways. You are making a direct impact in the lives of youth in our community. Thank You!
PETER KUHL,  71Five Campus Coordinator – Eagle Point 
(541) 630-0648 | peter@71Five.org
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB


Jacob’s Public “Confession”

Jacob, who’s a cool, tough kid from the neighborhood, has been coming to our clubs at 71Five City for a while. He was attracted to a summer event we were doing and has been coming back ever since. I was surprised to hear him make a statement in our discussion saying, “I’m happy with what Jesus did, giving his body for me.” For Jacob to say this openly and without shame, was awesome! It makes me think of 2 Timothy 1:7-8, where Apostle Paul says how God does not give us a spirit of fear, so don’t be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. To make such a confession in front of other kids when you’re in middle school is very brave! He also said it in front of his little sister! What a cool thing for a sister to hear her older brother say.
Because of you standing next to us in prayer and giving, we are reaching the kids of our city! As 1 Corinthians 12:26-27 says, we are all part of one body. You are a vital part of the care kids like Jacob experience and I’d like you to share in every celebration!
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


“Is abortion a sin?”

It was an ordinary night at club when two boys walked through the door. With them, a girl I’d never seen before. I thought to myself, this girl is running with the wrong crowd. She and I engaged in small talk and shared a couple chuckles before she leaned in and whispered, “Can I talk to you privately for a minute?” “Sure,” I said as I stood up, walked around the corner, and found a quiet place to talk. No sooner than I sat down, she asked me “Is abortion a sin?” I didn’t respond right away due to the intensity of the question. She continued, “because I had one when I was 15 years old, and I don’t know if what I did was the wrong thing or not.” Pausing for a moment of thought, it prompted me to not answer but ask a series of questions. “Will my answer change how you feel about the decision you made? Will it alleviate the burden you carry?” Then I asked, “do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?” She replied, “No.” I responded, “Does it really matter if something is a sin or not if you don’t believe in God or have a relationship with Him?” Again, the reply was no. “Would you like to have a relationship with Him?” “Yes!” she exclaimed. We then prayed together as she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior right then and there. I explained to her that she can’t change the past, she can only make new decisions for her future with Jesus as her guide. I said, “His Word will let you know if something is right or wrong, He’ll encourage repentance, bless you with His grace, guide your path, and trade your pain for joy.”
But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” For all the promises of God are “Yes” in Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:18-20) This girl was seeking a yes or no answer and had no idea that another existed. The answer we give to young people should always lead to Christ. When the significance of Christ matters, only then will the “yes and no” always lead us towards our Savior. At 71Five, we desire that young people leave with more hope than when they arrive by engaging in safe conversations and trusting relationships that point to a loving Savior.
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


A prayer for Tami

Tami is a mom of two, working her way towards independence. She’s been wanting her driver’s permit, but test and crowd anxiety has prevented her from going to the DMV. We went together and just after three hours; it was her turn. I told her, “It may feel awkward, but I would like to pray over you.” I prayed with her, and others around us joined in. I then told her that I was already proud of her for just being there. Tami passed the driver’s test and now she has her permit! As I brought her home, she said, “Thank you! I got this because you encouraged me, came with me, and prayed for me.”
I got to share with her that you are praying for and encouraging her, even if you haven’t met. Thank you for being a part of this celebration. Thank you for being a part of Tami’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


Pushing Forward

Last November, I took a group of kids to the national lave tubes to explore their longest cave system called the Catacombs. It’s easy to get lost with all the winding paths that branch off but after 10+ years of exploring it, I was able to help everyone feel confident. The further we went, the more cramped it became, to the point we had to crawl on our stomachs to progress. I tried to get the group to continue but only a teen named Mark and I were willing to explore further. We wriggled our way to amazing parts of the cave that the other kids wouldn’t get to see. Mark trusted me enough to push forward and what he got to see was something incredible!
This story reminds me of how we operate at 71Five where we lead kids to see the goodness of God, but it takes trust and sometimes a little effort to see Him. Thank you for leading kids to the goodness of God!
LEIF AMUNDSEN, 71Five Campus Interim Coordinator – 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
71Five Staff Changes:
It seems like yesterday when the Lord called me to 71Five, although, it was almost 6 years ago! I was filled with excitement but a little afraid too. I didn’t want to fail, and I was leaving the known for the unknown. Saying “Yes” to God means leaving where we are and moving toward where He’s guiding us. I’m so glad I faced the fear of answering the call to come to 71Five. I trusted His word, “who He calls He will equip!” Hebrews 13:21 I had a front-row seat to His goodness, promises, and faithfulness.
What is the Lord calling you to do? Maybe you haven’t thought about it recently, but He is always at work around us and through us! Has he called you to partner with 71Five through your giving, prayers, or maybe even volunteering? If He has, I encouraged you to step out in faith and say “Yes.” You will not regret it!
I’m once again filled with excitement, a little fear, and even some sadness as I say “Yes” to the calling that God has for me next. 71Five partners with The Salvation Army to help youth who are homeless, hurting, and lost. The Lord has called me to go to The Salvation Army to continue the ministry for those who are in need. I feel so blessed that I have been able to journey with you in my time at 71Five. Thank you for your faithfulness, love, and kindness over the years.
SHARRE WHITSON, 71Five Development Director
(530) 227-2474 | sharre@71Five.org
Bud here, I wanted to add that we are grateful for all of Sharre’s hard work during her time at 71Five. The Lord has used her efforts to expand the ministry in amazing ways over the last 6 years. We are also excited for her in this next chapter with The Salvation Army. Please be praying for Sharre in her new venture and for 71Five as we seek our new 71Five Development Director. Thank you.
BUD AMUNDSEN, 71Five Executive Director
(541) 301-0897 | bud@71Five.org


“Can we go?”

Leo and Luis approached me as our After School Hangout was winding down at 71Five City -. They asked where I was going afterwards. When I told them I was going to church, I was surprised that they both responded, “Can we go?” I explained there were no kid’s class and it would be bible study and not as lively as a normal church service. They did not waiver, saying, “That’s OK, we just want to go with you.” When we arrived I reminded the boys it was different than club and they would need to stay focused during the teaching. They both assured me they were up for it. As the church gave “Praise Reports” Luis added, “I want to thank Kenny for bringing us tonight.” Except for an occasional candy wrapper being opened the boys were totally focused on the study.
Thank you for helping kids hear God’s story!
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


Reaching young people… Wherever we go.

I recently traveled to Israel. It was an incredible experience. As I was at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, amidst all the religiousness and chaos, out of the crowd, a young college age man yells out to me and my sisters, “Hey, are you guys Trump supporters?” The question seemed so out of place from everything that was going on around me and the many languages, mostly Hebrew, that I was hearing. I turned to the young man and talked with him. I learned he was a Jew, from New York, living in Jerusalem, doing religious studies under one of the top Rabbis. As we talked, it became obvious he was searching for meaning in his life and felt being more religious would help. In Israel, there was so much religiousness. Only 50 yards away from where we were having this conversation, men were chanting, wailing, praying, bowing, using boxes on their heads, using plants, using things around their arms, and all to a wall. I asked this young man. “What do you believe about Jesus?” He seemed oblivious about Jesus. It was probably the coolest setting you can imagine telling someone about Jesus. At one point, I was like “…and just down the road, there’s the empty tomb you can go see.” Jesus gives young people hope, that is far more than just praying to a wall. Jesus changes lives.
When you give to 71Five, you are doing more than just supporting a great organization. You’re supporting the ministry of passionate people who share Jesus, with young people, wherever they go. Thanks for sharing the hope of Jesus… even with a young man in Jerusalem.
TIM HARDY,  71Five Campus Ministry Director – North Medford 
(541) 840-0960 | tim@71Five.org
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB


“More Confidence”

At the start, I wasn’t sure if Lex was going to make it to the end. He had spotty attendance and wasn’t interested to engage in class. I encouraged him to continue through the program and finish the course. Thankfully Lex kept attending and we talked about life, church, and God. The staff prayed often and asked God to bless him and help him to seek after Jesus. As we moved to the hands-on training portion of the program, he chose to build a picnic table. He wanted to dedicate it to a previous classmate who had passed away from a motorcycle accident. Now with a purpose, Lex became deeply involved in this project and poured his effort into it with gusto. He finished his project with great delight, and was able to dedicate the table to the school he attended. When asked how 71Five VoTech helped him, Lex smiled and said, “I now have more confidence to try new things.”
Thank you for providing a place where students can come and can be loved, challenged to develop confidence in life, and encouraged to pursue Jesus.
JEFF MORITZ,  71Five VoTech Coordinator – Grants Pass
(541) 450-7108 | jeffmoritz@71Five.org
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB


I can tell my friend about Jesus!

Beau is one of our most regular elementary students she’s there every week with her big sister and she is always excited about club. Not too long ago Beau and I were having a conversation and another girl said, “I’m not a Christian.” Beau got very worried and pulled me aside and said, “We can’t let that girl come anymore because she isn’t a Christian.” Beau had the idea you had to know Jesus, to go to anything about Jesus. I then had the opportunity to explain, “Everybody is welcome to come to club… even people who aren’t Christians. Just because we teach about Jesus doesn’t mean that you have to know Jesus to come and have fun!” Then we got to talk about sharing Jesus, and what a great opportunity it is to teach your friends who don’t know Jesus about how awesome he is. Beau lit up and shouted, “That means I can tell all of my friends about Jesus!”
Thank you for helping give children like Beau, the courage to tell all of their friends about Jesus!
SARA NIELSEN,  71Five Campus Coordinator – Central Point
(541) 816-6761 | sara@71Five.org
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB