not a fan?

Cody doesn’t hide his hesitation towards God. We’ve been getting to know Cody throughout the summer. He comes to almost all of our club nights and events. We have seen that Cody isn’t the most interested in the activities at club and he has shown us that he is not a fan of Christianity. He doesn’t always want to be involved in games, has walked away during prayer, and has rolled his eyes and become audibly irritated when we say it’s time for the message. Although Cody does these things, he still shows up week after week. You can tell that he feels loved and cared for by the leaders because he is sad and asks about them when they aren’t around and is affectionate when they are around. At the end of every club we ask for prayer requests. One week, Cody had remembered that one of our leaders knew someone battling Covid and he brought up that we should pray for that person. Cody went from walking away irritated during prayer, to suggesting we pray for someone who was struggling.
 
It is amazing to see the way God moves in the hearts of young people. The kids don’t often tell us how their lives are being transformed by God, but we get to witness it in moments like this.
 
MELANIE CIENFUEGOS,  71Five Campus – Phoenix Talent Coordinator  
(916) 671-4128 | melanie@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB
 

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What 3 F’s?

At 71Five City – West Medford I asked the youth why they liked Thursday Night Kids Club. Without hesitation Kylah shouted, “The three F’s.” I challenged her by asking, “What three F’s?” She quickly responded, “Food, Faith and Fun,” as she referred to the format of our weekly time together. Every week we sit down to enjoy a family style dinner with Kylah and almost 20 other young kids in the West Medford community. We spend time catching up with each other as we prepare for a night of fun and games, but, before we transition, we always take time to discuss our faith. While some kids seem to be impatiently tolerating the conversations, Kylah is totally engaged, raising her hand before we can even finish the questions. When I asked which is her favorite part she explained, “Faith, it’s fun to talk about God.”
 
Thank you for sharing the hope found in Jesus with Kylah. Her faith is growing because of your faithful partnership.
 
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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Come to Jesus Moment

Summer brings 71Five Camp. This year I had a small group of boys that just kind of flocked to me. The small group camp setting cultivated a space for these boys where they could be real and genuine about anything in their lives. We had some goofy moments and other times the conversations went extremely deep which created a tight bond between us. We had several great bible conversations with a lot of breakthrough moments! The highlight for me was on the last day when I asked what God had done in each of their lives while at 71Five Camp. The response from one of the boys was perfectly said, “Being able to meet other people with as many problems as I have and who want to come to Jesus.” He comes from a very dark and rough background, like so many others, yet here he is saying he wants to come to Jesus!
 
This is a huge step in the life of this young man and I am so very excited to watch God work in his life! Thank you for caring for the youth and providing kids like this the opportunities to go to 71Five Camp.
 
DANIEL PETERSON,  71Five Campus Coordinator – Gold Hill  
(541) 761-7589 | daniel@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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“Beau! Your food is on me tonight!”

What a great way to be greeted at Mod Pizza when you walk in the door! Clayton is a kid I met in detention a couple years ago. He was transferred to Barriers to Bridges, a 6-month residential program at the detention center and participated in 71Five Justice’s Break the Cycle bike program every week. When we politely tried to refuse his generosity, he said, “I really want to do this for you, you have done so much for me, I want to pay it forward! And you know, you can give me a hug now if you want to!” After a big hug, and lots of smiles all the way around, we got our food and he asked if he could join us for his break. He told us how grateful he was for Youth 71Five Ministries during his time in the program and we made plans to connect.
 
What a blessing to build these friendships and have such a powerful platform from which to share the hope that lies in the gospel! Thank you for all that you do to ensure this work continues in these trying times. May God bless you all richly.
 
BEAU JESKA,  71Five Justice Coordinator  
(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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“I’m an Atheist”

“Hi, I’m Joe and I’m an atheist.” That’s how one of my students started his “testimony” of how God had worked in his heart at 71Five Camp. There were a lot of impactful testimonies shared that night. We heard time after time of tragedies that God turned into a redemptive story. But Joe’s story was different. He started with being clear he’s still an atheist. Joe went on to share how, despite his being an atheist, he sees how much love he gets at 71Five from “you Christians and your God”. Despite the fact that Joe doesn’t believe in God, he sees a difference in us. He knows we love him unconditionally, even though we don’t agree with him. Wouldn’t it be nice if the rest of society worked like that? Joe found safety and love at Youth 71Five Ministries, like a lot of kids do. Joe hasn’t found Jesus yet, but he’s honest with us about where he is spiritually. 
 
Thank you so much for helping kids like Joe see there is a difference in the love that God gives vs. the rest of the world. Thanks for allowing us the opportunity to be Jesus to kids in need. We can’t do what we do without faithful volunteers, financial donors, and prayer warriors. If you would like to do more to change the lives of young people, I’d love to talk with you.
 
TIM HARDY,  71Five Campus Ministry Director  
(541) 840-0960 | tim@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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God is good . . .

Over a year ago I wrote about Seasons and how we all were experiencing a season like no other with the COVID virus and an uncertain economy. I wrote about how the needs of young people have only increased during unsettling times and how uncertainty can produce huge amounts of fear in us requiring wisdom, faith, and courage. Wisdom, to understand reality. Faith, to trust God and take appropriate action. Courage is always a part of faith because we must act on convictions of things unseen. I mentioned how young people need you as well, how they rely on 71Five and 71Five relies on your faithful and courageous investment in the work.
 
A year and a half later all of us have faced challenges, some great and some small. At 71Five we experienced loss, things haven’t always gone our way, and work has been harder than we thought. I wrote the words above even before the hardship of the local fires. But… I can tell you… God has been so good! We’ve seen huge numbers of kids involved with our programs, we’ve literally saved lives of kids considering suicide, and our building projects are completed despite huge cost increases and delays due to the pandemic and fires. Best of all, young people are experiencing the eternal and indestructible hope found in Jesus. Please hear me when I say thank you! Thank you to God who has been so faithful and to you for being the way in which He provided so much!
 
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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How could I not be happy?

At 71Five’s Middle School Camp, we had small group discussions in our cabin after Chapel. During one session, I shared a few pertinent details of my testimony. Sometimes you never quite know if kids are listening, but you just hope they are. Shortly after, I walked by Natalie and she shook her head saying, “I just can’t see it…I just can’t see it.” I laughed and curiously asked, what can’t you see? She said, “I just can’t see you like that…and now, now you’re just so…happy!” Her tone was that of confusion and happiness together. I laughed with her and said, “I know! Even though I didn’t really know God in my youth, He was protecting me and helped me find my way to Him where I found forgiveness, redemption, peace, and true happiness. So how could I not be happy?”
 
The next morning Natalie so sweetly asked if I would be the one to baptize her that day. I was excited for her and honored to be a part of her story! Sometimes when you think you’re not making a difference in a young person’s life, God has a way of showing you the truth and blessing you along the way. Thank you for making 71Five Camp happen. A place where kids can feel safe, relate with others, and find the Way, the Truth, and the Life… where they can find Jesus.
 
DARLENE HARPER,  71Five Mentors Coordinator  
(805) 202-9125 | darlene@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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Where are you?

While at 71Five VoTech, one student, Thom, was very open to share his love for Jesus with the other students. Admittedly, his bible knowledge was sometimes a little off, but he told me that he felt called to help anyone that needed to hear a good word. I usually didn’t correct him on the spot as I knew his heart was in the right place. I realized I hadn’t seen him for a while, so I shot him a text. I asked if he would like to come to my house for dinner sometime. He texted me right back saying, “Yes, how about tomorrow?” The next day I called him. So, where are you, I asked. He said he was downtown walking. I asked if I could swing by and pick him up. He agreed and as we drove, we talked. I found out that he moved out of his house and was living in the laundry room of a family that took him in. Also, he was working almost full time and trying his best to do well. At our house we had dinner and watched a little TV. Then on the way home he started to talk. He shared how important God was in his life and he new that God was there taking care of him. As I let him out in the middle of town, I told him he can come over anytime. He smiled and thanked me and as he turned to go, with tears welling up, he told me that I was a very special person in his life. As I drove off, noticeably harder to see and the wipers were no help, I thought back and answered my own question. I know where you are Thom. In the center of Gods love.
 
You my friends are the reason there is Trust that leads to Hope for so many youth who have no meaningful adult relationships. Thank you for continuing to build these trusting relationships.
 
LARRY LICATO,  71Five VoTech Coordinator  
(541) 890-1819 | larry@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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in front of everyone

It isn’t easy for teens to open up in front of a large group. Makayla is pretty shy and doesn’t normally open up about her past, but at 71Five HS Camp she got up in front of everyone and shared her story. “It’s so cool, because I didn’t even know who Jesus was when I literally cried out to Him, asking Him to save me.” What I love most about Makayla’s story, is that when she was little, she called out to Jesus in faith to give her a better life. At the time, she had no idea who Jesus was. She’d never been to church and no one had even mentioned His name. A week later God brought her out of the traumatic home and opened a door for her to live with her dad. Makayla decided to step up and share with others that she looks back and remembers that Jesus is always faithful and always answers prayers.
 
Thank you for providing 71Five Middle and High School Summer Camps and investing in these young lives.
 
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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Hope for Gen Z

Billy, who faithfully attends our high school club, told me how he has been reading the book of Colossians and was excited about what he’s learning. He mentioned he wanted our high school club to read and talk about it during our discussion time. He said, “I like how it shows a new way of life… I also like that it shows that the family of God is multiethnic.” For Billy to see how relevant and life changing the book of Colossians can be, is awesome.
 
To see our youth read and understand the Bible for themselves is super cool! I recently read a study that said 4% of Gen Z has a biblical worldview and is the least Christian generation in US history. The study also said they’re the loneliest generation in history, but amazingly are willing to trust adults who take the time to get to know them. Because of your support we can do this.
 
Thank you so much for bringing the only true hope in the world to the kids of this generation!
 
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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