Life Change Kid Story Blog:

 

the happiness myth

Each Tuesday we have our 71Five VoTech life-skills training class… Many people today call them ‘Adulting’ classes. We cover 12 topics ranging from personal banking to workplace communication. Last week our topic was “the myth of happiness.” Anyone who’s connected to modern media has been deeply affected by the happiness myth. Over time we begin to believe our purpose in life is to be happy. If we could just have that new car, house, boat, hairstyle, vacation, etc… We’d be happy. Sadly, as soon as we get what we want the happiness begins to fade and we find ourselves looking for the next thing.
 
All 6 young adults in the class shared they often felt sad because they didn’t have the money to buy the things they needed and wanted. Chris shared “I’m going to be a millionaire so then I’ll be happy and help my family be happy.” When I explained money couldn’t make him happy, he disagreed. Which led to a great group discussion about what really makes us happy. During the discussion we explained, happiness is the body’s response to achieving goals.  As we set and then achieve a goal our body rewards us with a good feeling. As a result, happiness is not a constant state in which we can stay. Happiness and sadness are just feelings that come and go based on circumstance. At this point Anthony asked, “so what is my purpose?” Great question!
 
I wish every struggling kid could have been with us to hear what our true purpose in life is. The look of hope that follows this message is amazing; that our purpose is to love and be loved by Jesus, and in doing so bring glory to God. Come join our team and help us reach young people with the message of their true purpose. – TODD SORENSEN 71Five VoTech Director todd@71Five.org

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Friday Night Club

Youth 71Five Ministries provides a safe place for kids in our community. A six grade boy came up to me the other day during our Friday Club Night and asked me if he could please stay. “No one is at my house and my mom won’t be home until the bar closes.” He was not supposed to come that week because he had gotten in trouble the week before… We worked out an alternate form of restitution and he was able to hang out with us for the evening. The same young man told me just a few weeks before, “I wish I was Jesus, so I could help my family.”
 
It’s true, only Jesus can bring real help to his family. Thank you!! You provide a safe place where this young man can hear about the hope that’s only found in Jesus. ROBERT MILTON 71Five Campus Area Director – Eagle Point robert@71Five.org

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Can You Explain Forgiveness?

At 71Five City, there’s a single dad who has brought his daughters for about 3 years. A nice guy, hard worker and a good dad. I can see in his eyes he’s exhausted by Friday night yet he often stays to helps clean up. A few weeks ago he took me aside and said, “I need to speak to you”. As we sat at the table he leaned in and yelled: “Explain forgiveness? There’s so much evil in this world. How can God forgive evil people?” I shared with him that God’s grace is available to anyone that would believe. God sent His son, Jesus who died for us and rose again so anyone who wanted His free gift of freedom and eternal life can have it. Even people who had done evil things. By the end of our time, this dad was amazed by the truth of the Gospel. He said he’d never looked at God’s love that way. Then he asked if we could meet again because he wants to learn more about Jesus and the Bible. And we will.
 
Each Friday, here at 71Five City, I present the Gospel to kids in some creative way, but I know the parents are also listening. In 1 Peter 3:15 it says, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”
 
Thank you, my friends, for creating a safe place for kids… and parents, to hear the message of Hope that’s within you and me. – LARRY LICATO, 71Five City Director larry@71Five.org
 

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Surviving the Holidays

We’ve all heard the term “Surviving the Holidays.” Getting the family together, deciding who’s bringing what, shuffling through the crowds to get those last-minute items, and racking up those credit cards. For most of the Youth 71Five kids “Surviving the Holidays” takes on a different meaning. After group one night, I asked Kiara how her Thanksgiving was. She replied “hmm, ok.” As I dug a little deeper, she said “I spent the day in my room by myself. I didn’t want to go with my mother to her friend’s house because I don’t want to be around the drinking.” Kiara’s Christmas at home was very similar. “My mom and her boyfriend were fighting so I just stayed in my room all day.” While most of us are “Surviving the Holidays” so to speak, there are youth in our community who really are.
 
Here’s what else Kiara was up to during the holidays. 71Five Campus had a Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, we built gingerbread houses, had a gift exchange, and went ice skating. Due to our generous donors, Kiara was able to attend our high school camp in Sunriver. At camp, Kiara told me she wanted to get baptized. She’d prayed to God she could be the light that enters her home and brings her mother to Jesus. I’d been asking God how I could help these families to know Christ. He answered me that day with… “Teach my children and they will know Me.”
 
Thank you for providing the message of hope through trusting relationships. God is using you to change lives! – FARRAH GUTHRIE, 71Five Campus Area Director – Grants Pass farrah@71Five.org
 

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a Senior Project

The first meeting… there’s always a ‘first meeting’ with every kid. This is the time to get acquainted… but more importantly, it is time to lay a foundation of trust and respect. Like steel in concrete, trust & respect create a solid base upon which to build a relationship and become positioned to share the hope that can be found in knowing God & His Son, Jesus. Yesterday was the first meeting with Michael & Jeff. As their Senior Project to graduate from Central High School they will partner with me to set up and host the next 71Five Connect Workshop. As 71Five Connect alumni, they know its value to their fellow students. I must encourage, challenge, and help build them to become more than they are, to have a greater vision for who they might become. First meetings are critical because from small beginnings the course of a life may be changed for all eternity.
 
God has opened a door through Youth 71Five Ministries for more of His people to bring life-changing hope into the lives of kids… join us in the mission.- MATT SWEENEY, 71Five Connect Director and Ministry Coordinator matt@71five.org

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building leaders

Being a leader is challenging… But if there is one thing I have learned about being a true leader, it is that wise leaders take followers and turn them into leaders. That’s exactly the opportunity I have while working with Wyatt. This middle-school boy has a big heart. When he grows up, he wants to be “…a business owner. I’m dreaming of starting my own business with my own employees.” Recently he has been coming to Thursday Night’s 71Five Campus Club and listening to the hope offered through Jesus. Wyatt expressed that he wants to start a bike repair hobby so he can practice being a future business owner. I am now partnering with Wyatt to make this happen and empower him to go after the true leader he really is.
 
I shared with Wyatt that Jesus put him on the planet with a gift that only he can fill and give to the world. Thanks for providing the hope of Jesus to Wyatt and empowering him to become the influential person he was created to be. – JOSHUA LOOMIS 71Five Campus Area Director – Gold Hill joshua@71Five.org

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discussing the consequences

Some choices we make can have long-lasting consequences… This is true for one of our young moms. Daisy is one of the friendliest, easy going, lovable people I’ve ever met. You could walk into a room and not know a single person and immediately find a friend in Daisy. But one day, Daisy made a choice out of anger, and this choice led to long-lasting, life-changing consequences. Three of us at 71Five Parents recently met with Daisy to discuss the consequences of this choice and how we could come alongside her as she looks to move forward. As we sat with Daisy, discussing her goals and some action steps, we discussed her spiritual goals. Daisy is seeking. She’s asking questions like, “Who is God?” We sat with Daisy and talk to her about how great God’s love is for her and how He desires to be known by her. She then said one of her action steps was “…Going to be to pray and ask God to show himself!” In that moment I had a realization. This negative choice Daisy made left her with hard consequences which led Daisy to ask us for help which led us to a conversation about God, His grace and love for her, and how He wants to be known by Her. Choices do have consequences, but… we serve a God who can use all things for good and use anything to draw us to Himself. He is drawing Daisy to Himself! And because of your faithfulness to this ministry we get to have these conversations with Daisy and see God pursuing her right before our eyes. Thank you for supporting Youth 71Five Ministries. Your support is changing lives! – APRIL BARSALOU, 71Five Parents Assistant Director april@71Five.org

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Happy 2019!

I trust you were able to enjoy Christmas even with the busyness of shopping, events, dinners, and stress. Christmas is about Jesus and what He gives to us – the gift of a Savior. We can’t earn this gift and we don’t desire it, but I am so thankful that He gave it anyway. In His gift there is the promise of new life. I hope this fills you with excitement of what God has for us this new year.
 
What God asks of us is not always an easy request… Life is hard at times. However, as Christian’s, God’s dearly loved people, we are called according to His purpose. I pray that we can keep looking to Him in 2019 and, no matter what we face, we can remember His amazing love for us.
 
Please Save These Dates:
Tuesday, February 12th, 4:30 – 6:30pm Donor & Volunteer Appreciation Celebration at the 71Five City Community Center This is our way of thanking you for all you do in partnering with Youth 71Five Ministries via your time, love, prayer, meals, monies, etc. Thank you for the sacrifices you bring to God’s Kingdom.  We are honored to partner with you!  You will be receiving a card in the mail as a reminder which will provide all details. Saturday, February 23rd, 9:00 – 12:30pm Mission Training 101 at the 71Five City Community Center For new volunteers or current volunteers that have not taken this course as of yet. If you received a post card in the mail, this would mean our records show that you have not completed the 101 Ministry Training. If this is incorrect, please e-mail me and let me know, so I can take you off the list. 😊CLEM O’HARA Volunteers Coordinator clem@71Five.org

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gradual change

It was at around age 16 that I stopped going to church… I remember becoming obsessed with myself and what I thought of as “special knowledge,” while still calling myself a Christ follower. I was bitter, rebellious, and deceitful with waves of deep depression. My parents echoed the lament of many Christian parents, “What did we do wrong? Why, God, would you let my child walk away from You?” It took time, but God broke through the darkness and started to change who I was.
 
In my life, change has always been gradual. I remember wishing God would transform me overnight, but those big changes never happened. Over the years, I can see His hand in my life, guiding me towards Him through hardship, repentance, and many, many blessings. As God slowly changed my heart, I joined a wonderful church, made friends that poured into me and got me involved in service. Instead of loving myself, I developed a love for God and His Word because now I wanted to be in relationship with Him. I became a Sunday School teacher for teens, a pastorate intern, and now God has opened doors for me to be the Phoenix/Talent Area Director for Youth 71Five Ministries.
 
God has led me out of my darkness into the hope of the Gospel countless times. Now, I want to share that same transforming hope with the youth of Phoenix and Talent who are on the same dark path. Thank you for providing a safe and healthy place for young people to discover the hope that only Christ can bring. – CAMERON HOEHNE, 71Five Campus Area Director – Phoenix/Talent cameron@71Five.org

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tough nut to crack

When Josh was lodged at detention, his behavior was terrible. It was weeks before he was allowed to attend our Thursday night program. When I introduced myself, he would not look me in the eye, his body language was hunched and defensive. His speech was a dialect of gang banger and hard to understand. His personality had been formed by the things he experienced living on the streets. One night, staff allowed him to watch our group from just outside the classroom door. Progress. Trust was built, but glacially slow. He was transferred to the 6-month residential program in the detention center building and after some one-to-one time riding mountain bikes, a friendship was born. At the residential program he used up all his last chances and was lodged in detention with new assault charges. It was there, during Sunday Chapel, that the Lord broke through with the book of Jonah. It spoke right to Josh’s heart. Later, we both confessed to having a little Jonah in our DNA and Josh allowed Jesus into his heart. Fast forward a month, you have a bright young man devouring Scripture and praying—eyes shining bright with the light of a loving God. Thank you for your partnership with 71five Justice, together we are doing important work.- BEAU JESKA, 71Five Justice Director beau@71Five.org

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