A Light of Hope. . .

Walter, one of the kids I work with had a big change during the 71Five Highschool camp this summer. During the 71Five Camp he decided to share a poem he wrote a couple months ago. The poem speaks about negative thoughts that were eating at him for some time. He had read some verses in the Bible that made him feel like he was an “abomination” to God.
 
I was able to open the Bible and show him there was a greater context he was missing. I talked to him about the fact that through Jesus we can all find forgiveness and hope. We read, wept, and prayed right then. Near the end of the camp, he came up to me with a new poem. It spoke about, even though he has dark thoughts, there is now a light of hope he can see coming from heaven.
 
Thank you for providing opportunities for kids like Walter to go to 71Five Camp… His life is changing for good.
 
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

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Alonzo’s Homework

The first week of school I received a text from one of our volunteers. It was a picture of her son Alonzo’s homework. When asked to write about something he enjoyed, his written answer was, “71Five, I enjoy learning about god with my family…” Alonzo regularly attends our Kids Club with his siblings and cousins at 71Five City West Medford. His parents are also here serving as volunteers. It’s amazing to see the Lord reach an entire family as we share His story of hope with young people.
 
Thank you for giving them a place to build relationships and learn about God.
 
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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All In

Hailie was one of the first students I met when I began at 71Five Campus. She was very quiet and reserved. After many conversations, Hailie shared that she had accepted Jesus some time ago, but wasn’t ready to fully commit. As 71Five’s Summer High School Camp was approaching, I prayed for Hailie, that she would fully surrender her life to Christ. After the very first day at camp, she was a whole new Hailie! She was more bubbly than ever and was making new friends. On the last night at dinner, I brought up baptism, and before I could finish my sentence Hailie boldly said, “I want to get baptized!” Hailie was ready to “go all in.”
 
You made this story possible by giving scholarships to kids for 71Five Camp this summer… so teens like Hailie can finally go all in!
 
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

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“It’s too hot out here!”

The summer went quicker than expected, although there were times I thought it would never end… We held a summer class of four students where they were challenged by a project of building two sheds for the local school. We had hot days of over 100 degrees so encouraging the students to endure through the heat was an equal challenge to the construction. As the work started, Christian, one of our students, said, “It’s too hot out here!” After suffering for a few days but not wanting them to quit, I brought three big umbrellas to provide some shade. The young men faithfully came throughout the summer, showing up to class early, working long days and then for two students, piling themselves and a bike into my little car to get home. In the middle of this tough, hot, grind, relationships were built, and lives were changed.
 
Whether before class, building sheds, making many mistakes, taking students home, or going out to lunch, you provided creative ways to build trusting relationships that lead to hope. These students learned to work hard in uncomfortable conditions. They learned new skills in the building trade. Best of all, they learned they are loved. Thank you for making a difference.
 
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

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Big Guy in the Sky!

“I don’t want anything to do with some big guy in the sky.” That was the statement of Mark, one of the high school guys from 71Five Campus – North Medford on the first day of high school summer camp. Mark made it clear he didn’t believe in God or want anything to do with Him. Mark was at camp because he thought it would be fun and his friend invited him to go. In fact, 3 out of the 5 boys in my group considered themselves atheists. On day 3 of our camp though, I had a talk with each of those boys. When I talked with Mark, I asked him why he doesn’t believe in God. Mark told me about the trauma he endured through abusive situations in multiple foster homes. At one point in the past Mark had prayed that God would get him out of his situation and make his dad less angry. “God didn’t answer my prayer, so I figured I was on my own. So why should I believe in him?” Mark’s pain was genuine but by day three of camp, Mark came to know Jesus and accepted Him as his Savior. The people of Israel prayed for the Messiah to rescue them from Rome, but Jesus had a much better plan. Jesus didn’t rescue Israel from the oppression of the Romans, but used it for His glory. God didn’t rescue Mark from his abusive situation, but used it to get Mark right where he needed to be. On day 3 of camp, Mark came to know Jesus personally. On day 4, Mark was baptized.
 
Thanks for giving scholarships to kids like Mark to go to 71Five Camp and for reaching young people with hope. If you’d like to get more involved, give us a call at Youth 71Five Ministries: (541) 779-3275.
 
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

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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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