Life Change Kid Story Blog:

 

Can you do this simple act?

In the short time, I’ve been the Director of 71Five Mentors I’ve had a chance to visit some of our other ministry sites. One night at Juvenile Detention, our 71Five Justice team and I connected with a young girl who was struggling with her best friends’ suicide. She was upset and couldn’t find answers to her many questions, (including why He stopped her from ending her own life weeks before). With a listening ear, love, and friendship, we brought her hope for a better tomorrow through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are more at-risk youth like her across this valley that can be reached. 71Five Mentors currently has a list of kids K-12 waiting for caring adults to come alongside them and say, “I’ll be your friend.”
 
The time is now, because if not now, then when? If not us, then who? Can you do it? Will you be that friend? Call us at (541) 779-3275 and let’s talk about what it takes to connect with a kid. DARLENE HARPER 71Five Mentors Director (541) 779.3275 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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2-Story Building with a 3-Story Ministry

As the 71Five VoTech building is getting ready to be used for God’s glory… I find trash and needles on our doorstep. As I walked thru the building I saw that the second floor is completely missing with the doors and windows piled up in a heap. Then it dawned on me that this building has not seen new light for over 40 years. As I stood there in awe, our contractor came over to me and said, “This is not a remodel, this is a new construction!” At that moment, God impressed upon me that this is what he wants to do in me. I understood that He wants to do a deeper work in me. I also see how this building will bring new light and life to this neighborhood. But most importantly, be a transforming influence in the hearts of the students that will be attending here as Jesus the carpenter does his transforming work in them.
 
There it is… My story, their story and Gods story, all for His Glory. Come and be a part of God’s work of letting in the light to the young adults of our Rogue Valley. LARRY LICATO 71Five VoTech Director (541) 779-3275 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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someone to lean on

Sometimes life is hard… When you’re at your lowest, you need someone you can lean on. It was a Tuesday morning when I got a text from Trevor, “My mom is dead!” (His mom died suddenly from a blood clot.) Trevor is a senior in high school who’s been coming to 71Five Campus in Eagle Point religiously for the last six years. He’s struggling with his faith in Jesus right now but thanks to 71Five Campus, Trevor has not had to go through this time alone. Adults who care for Trevor listen and pray when the pain comes to the surface.
 
When you partner with 71Five, you bring the hope of Jesus to young people who desperately need him. Thank you for helping Trevor go through the hardest time of his life. ROBERT MILTON 71Five Campus Area Director & Ministry Coordinator (541) 779-3275 robert@71Five.org
 

“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB


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no “tricks”

After eating a fantastic meal donated by Hawaiian Hut, we sat down to talk about this week’s movie. I wanted to share about All Saints Day… not my usual connection between the movie and God’s word. I asked the kids, What was your favorite scene? At that point a parent raised her hand and said her favorite scene was when the main character did everything in His power to save and protect the little girl. Then a girl in the group said, “That’s what God does for us.” The group made the connection even when I had a different plan. God’s love and grace were proclaimed… the group was preaching to me! Now that was a treat I will cherish for a while. Together we are building trust with families that leads to the hope of life and freedom in Jesus.
 

No “tricks” here… Just the sweet “treats” of God’s love! Join us in reaching even more families and youth in our neighborhoods, schools, and communities. Please contact us at www.71Five.org or call 541-779-3275 LARRY LICATO 71Five City Director (541) 779-3275 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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behind the mask

When I arrive at a local youth hang out to pick up anyone for club, the youth ask me questions such as “Where are you going?” “What are you guys going to do?” And the one question that separates the crowd from who’s going and who isn’t… “Is it religious?” Week after week I would ask a certain girl to join us, however, she would always reply with “No”. The reason she’d say no is because this girl identifies as a boy. I kept pursuing her and to my surprise, she finally said “Yes”. Later that evening as we met for our small group discussion, the question was “How does God speak to you?” Literally, behind a mask she had put on, tears ran down her face. We gathered around her and prayed. I believe it’s not our place to judge or change people, God does that. At Youth 71Five Ministries, it’s our desire to share the Gospel with young people and provide a safe place as they find their identity in Christ.
 
There are others attending club who are struggling with their gender. 71Five can reach these youth and share the Gospel in an incredible way by building trust that leads to hope. Jesus says in Luke 19:10, “the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” As the Grants Pass 71Five Campus Director, I will continue to seek out those who may never hear about who God is because they think they aren’t within reach. FARRAH GUTHRIE 71Five Campus Area Director – Grants Pass (541) 779-3275 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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Generations Bring Hope

In ministry, I’ve learned to think in terms of generations. When ministering to kids, we consider the effect it will have on the children that will come from this child in front of us today. When 71Five develops new ministry team members, we work to help them keep one eye on the future and how the ministry will look as they one day hand it off to the next generation. Today, 71Five reaches out to kids and families that struggle and yet we do this work while building for the future to serve broken kids that are not yet born. They too will need the power and love of God displayed in their lives. I, personally, won’t be here to serve them but team members we teach today and those who follow them will be for years after I’m gone. The key: God will always be here!
 
Youth 71Five Ministries is built on the work of generations of ministers who began building on the foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Constantly building on a firm foundation to bring hope into the lives of kids through a trusting relationship with our Savior remains the calling we follow. MATT SWEENEY 71Five Ministry Coordinator (541) 779-3275 matt@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 icb

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leader of her peers

We first met Kelsie when she was 16, pregnant, living at home, and still in high school. She has been coming to our group for 2 years now and she just graduated last May. We are so proud of her and the young woman and mom she is. Kelsie has grown over the last couple years in her relationship with the Lord and is feeling the call to be a leader and work with youth. This year we have started a weekly discipleship class for our young moms who are now out of high school, and Kelsie is a part of that group. We have been praying that these young moms would mature and grow in their relationship with the Lord and in the ways that they are called to be discipled and also to go and make disciples. We have been praying specifically that as we transition these young moms from our high school group to this new discipleship class, that one of them would take on the roll of being a leader with their peers. And in doing that would step up to organizing and initiating group play dates and times of fellowship. Just recently Kelsie expressed a desire to do this and has organized her first group gathering for other young moms to come and find community and support. It is exciting to see the Lord answering our prayers and to watch Kelsie be a leader with her peers and grow as a disciple of Christ.
 

Thank you for your support of 71Five Parents. The Lord has called us all to “go and make disciples” and because of your support and generosity we are seeing new disciples rise up, and we are seeing them go and make more disciples! – APRIL BARSALOU 71Five Parents Assistant Director (541) 779-3275 april@71Five.org

“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB


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Does it take a village?

When I thanked my cousin for picking my daughter from school she told me, “It takes a village to raise a kid.” Is that ever true! It got me thinking about all of the people involved in the life-changing work the Lord does through Youth 71Five Ministries. Take Chris and Drew for example, two kids running hard in local gangs before they were apprehended by law enforcement and lodged at Juvenile Detention. While in detention, 71Five Justice engaged them with Thursday Night Groups, Chapel Services, lunch appointments, and many one-to-one visits. When Chris and Drew were transferred to the “Barriers to Bridges” (or B2B) residential program, we continue building trusting relationships. They are now picked up for church services and were recently baptized. Every Monday they’re discipled by a volunteer husband and wife team. They also participate in the 71Five Justice “Break the Cycle” program and love it so much they plan to join the high school mountain biking team. We also plan to plug them into the 71Five VoTech Training Program. They’re both running hard for Jesus now thanks to all of the wonderful people who have answered His call to action. Does it take a village to change lives? You bet! I love my 71Five village and thank you for making all of this possible.
 
Would you be willing to plug into my “village” deeper? Please reach out so I can tell you more and see if one of our ministry areas is a fit for you. There are diverse ways our youth are engaged by competent and compassionate adults, building trusting relationships that are essential in giving kids hope—the kind of hope that is life-changing. BEAU JESKA 71Five Justice Director (541) 779.3275 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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reaching the young

Back in November, Rogue Valley Youth for Christ became Youth 71 Five Ministries, an independent organization after 54 years with Youth for Christ. It wasn’t an easy decision, but one reason for the change was we felt we could reach more youth by continuing to reach elementary age kids. This has been shown true in a family that lives in my North Medford neighborhood. It started with an eight-year-old named Selina offering to do some yard work for me. I invited her to a 71Five event, and she brought her ten-year-old sister. As they continued to get involved, I learned they had a pregnant 16-year-old sister, a 14-year-old autistic brother and are good friends with many other kids in my neighborhood. Through the relationships I forged with the younger girls, we were able to get help for their pregnant sister through our 71Five Parents ministry. Now, the two young girls are involved in my church’s AWANA program where they’re learning the Bible every week and the teen mom has been overwhelmingly thankful for all the help we are giving her family.
 
I rarely know the rippling impacts of reaching out to a particular kid; but reaching out to Selina, my eight-year-old neighbor, has had a huge impact already. I’m thankful with Youth 71Five, I still have the opportunity to reach these kids. Would you like to see ripples grow in your community? It doesn’t take much. At 71Five, we have many ways for you to have an eternal impact in the lives of kids and your community. Are you willing to get involved? Give us a call at (541) 779-3275. TIM HARDY 71Five Campus Area Director – North Medford  (541) 779-3275 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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past the facade

Each week, dozens of ‘kid stories’ pass my desk. I’m often stunned by how wounded many of our young people are. One adopted boy has been in trouble and his adoptive family has abandoned him. A young girl who’s pregnant is so unable to trust caring adults, she’s living on the streets. Working with these kids is incredibly difficult because in their deep pain they often lash out at the folks who are trying to care for them. I’m proud Youth 71Five staff both paid and volunteer, seek to look past the facade of anger, bravado and disrespect to see each young person as they truly are— A child who’s been hurt, abandoned and afraid to trust.
 
You provide the adult who graciously absorbs the insults and continues to get close to show the young person there is a thing called trust and that trust leads to hope. Every week, kids don’t just hear about Jesus— they see Jesus! Thank you!! BUD AMUNDSEN 71Five Executive Director (541) 779-3275 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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