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Joy to the World

Joy to the World… You know the Christmas carol, right? Joy is a rare commodity these days. We may even wonder if we can sing it authentically right now. Well, it’s good to look at the next line and remember what the source of joy is. That line is, “the Lord is come.” I have sung those lines at least a thousand times in my life but I don’t think they’ve ever been put to the test globally like they are now. I have a hard time even imagining life or the world if the Savior had not come. It’s amazing how much hope hangs on that truth for me. Because of it, I’m completely confident there are better things in my future because I have peace with God through Jesus.
 
So many kids in our community live without that hope. Many have never even heard of the possibility of that hope. What a dark place to live as our world seems harmful and out of control. Jesus calls himself the ‘Light of the world’ but amazingly he also calls us the ‘light of the world.’ What a privilege to be included in that work! Your “light” helps kids see the “Light,” and then they can experience the joy of an eternal and indestructible hope!
 
Thank you for shining the “Light” into dark places in the lives of young people!!
 
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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Community Service Credits

71Five has taught me to work with younger kids and to be an example,” Charlie responded when asked how Youth 71Five Ministries has impacted his life. He is a 17-year-old young man who spends a day a week at the Station 71Five Community Center. What started as community service credits has transformed into a mentoring relationship. Recently Charlie was with me when I was approached about meeting with another young man. It was explained that many had given up on him because the boy is a foster kid with ADHD and has officially been labeled a troublemaker. Later that evening Charlie shared how he was once exactly like that boy. He was amazed that every detail reminded him of his younger self and revealed how much he’s changed due to ongoing mentoring relationships.
 
You make this type of transformation possible by providing trusting relationships to young people. Thank you for partnering with us.
 
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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Asking for Advice

A couple weeks ago, A sixteen-year-old young man ask to get dinner. He’s been coming to our Friday night club since it started. As we waited for the food, he started the conversation by saying, “So, a lot has happened since last time I saw you.” He plunged into the events in his life, beginning with how his mom had just gotten remarried. He went on to talk about a girl and all the confusion and drama that goes with that situation. I listened to the whole story. Then… he asked me for advice. This does not typically happen! I was very blessed to give him helpful advice on waiting until marriage and the importance of dating a girl who knows Jesus. Most importantly, I challenged him in his faith by explaining how our flesh and the Spirit are at odds and he needs to choose one. I think it sunk in. What a privilege to be asked for help. I look forward to seeing his faith and decision-making skills progress.
 
I am grateful to spur this kid on in love and good works, and see the impact 71Five is having on the youth of our communities. Thank you for providing this life transforming work of relationally sharing the Gospel!
 
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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God showed up through you

I’d like to share with you a message I recently received from a key 71Five Justice Volunteer. . .
 
Youth 71Five Ministries has been part of my life for 20 years. I was in and out of Juvenile Detention as a teenager and struggled to find my way. At my lowest point in detention, God showed up through the staff and volunteers of 71Five Justice. There, I got to know a man named Matt Sweeney. Fast forward several years and Matt counseled my wife and I and married us at our wedding. Matt has been such a blessing to me and my family. If you are staff, a financial partner, or a volunteer for 71Five, I thank you for all that you do! Your involvement with these youth is LIFE CHANGING! It may have taken me 15 years to fully know Jesus, but it was made possible by the men and women who are serving Him with their time, resources, and finances at 71Five.
 
Things have come full circle for me. God has provided the opportunity to serve on the 71Five Justice team as a volunteer, and I live a life that I never thought was possible.
 
Thank you! – Israel Pogrebinsky, 71Five Justice Volunteer
 
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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a real opportunity

Why did God create me so ugly?” That was one of the questions written by students after a recent middle school club at the 71Five Campus North Medford Youth Center. Another note asked, “What’s the point in life?” Still, another note asked, “Why is God making my life so hard and having me have so much anxiety and crying so much? It’s making it hard for me to go to school or even do anything.” Some of these notes really broke my heart as I read them. These reveal glimpses of what young people are really thinking and going through. We are always seeing glimpses like these at 71Five. During summer camps, we hear kids pour out the burdens and pains in the safe glow of a big campfire. On day trips, we do activities together with the kids and have long conversations during the van ride where kids often open-up about their lives. At club, we see kids week after week and notice when they aren’t doing well. Through trusting relationships we meet kids right where they are and start getting deeper and deeper with them over time. The hurts come to the surface, and we have a real opportunity to minister to kids and share the love of Jesus. A lot of our kids wouldn’t step foot inside a church. But they will go to a Youth Center. So, we have Youth Centers where we can share Jesus with those kids and answer their hard questions.
 
Are you willing to join us? Are you interested in being part of a team of people that have a passion for sharing the Gospel with young people who desperately need Him? Call us at (541) 779-3275 or visit 71Five.org because we would love to get you involved in the life of a young person who is in need today.
 
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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Despite their beliefs

Despite what’s happening in the world our mission as people of God hasn’t changed a bit. We still have the same purposes of loving God, loving others, and making disciples. As a leader I often reflect on whether 71Five is doing a good job on our mission. I think this story shared by our Campus Ministry Director sheds light on how we’re doing.
 
“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.” Even though 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. 
 
I love this story; it shows how in our love for God we authentically love young people despite what they believe or how they act. Joe knows we disagree with him and his beliefs, but he also knows he is truly loved. Likewise, he knows what it takes to follow Jesus offered through the trust that’s built on real love… (our mission lived out)!
 
Thank you for bringing the trust that leads to hope to any young person!
 
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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Don Hildebrand Legacy

With a mix of sadness and joy I attended the memorial service of Don Hildebrand to honor a life well lived. As part of the service, Don’s daughter Holly read a poem written to celebrate Don. What an amazing poem! The part that struck me personally was a line that referenced Sir Isaac Newton’s quote about how he could ‘see further because he stood on the shoulders of giants.’ That comment really captures how I and Youth 71Five Ministries connect with Don.
 
Don came to Oregon to be the Director of a tiny chapter of Youth for Christ in 1973. Over the next 20 years he turned that tiny organization into a well-known and much respected ministry to kids in the Rogue Valley. By the time Don hired me in 1991, everyone around town seemed to know the “oldest teenager in the Rogue Valley.” Radio shows, haunted houses, Mexico trips and golf tournaments put the name of Rogue Valley Youth for Christ into the headlines but much more importantly; an adventuresome spirit, a love of fun, a caring heart and a passion for Jesus brought hope into the lives of kids.
 
So here I am almost 30 years later sitting in the same seat Don sat in with an active and thriving ministry, but I can tell you this, we’ve reached this height because we stand on the shoulders of a giant. Rogue Valley Youth for Christ and now Youth 71Five Ministries have a tremendous heritage and the trust of our community because of what God did in and through the life of Don Hildebrand. A few things I’ve personally learned from Don and think about almost daily: first, don’t be too busy for those who need you; second, lead with fun: and last, love kids toward Jesus. These qualities of Don’s legacy are still hallmarks of 71Five.
 
I will miss his energy and bounce, his skill in sarcastic repartee, and the best work-related compliments I’ve ever been given. But… I know I’ll see him again, and in the meantime I’ll keep serving God, grateful to be standing on the shoulders of a giant.
 
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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a heartwarming surprise

At the Night of Mystery, I heard my name being shouted. I looked up and saw Christy running to give me a huge hug. She said “I was literally just saying how I really hoped I’d see you tonight.” It was a heartwarming surprise as I wasn’t sure of the last impression I’d made. The last time I saw Christy was when I drove her and 8 other students to the Redding Water Park a few months back. We had a blast talking, listening to music, eating junk food, and laughing the entire time! But there were times when I had to pause the fun and discipline them while driving, particularly Christy… and not just once, or even twice, but multiple times. That’s what made Christy’s hug all the more special! Even though I gave her some tough love that trip, I see she knows deep down I really care about her. Sometimes tough love is really just love.
 
God’s Word reminds us we must let go of our fears and do what is right, trusting He has control of the situation [1 Peter 3:14]. A little bit of tough love for a van full of students made a difference in the life of at least one young person. It created a bond that has now grown into a beautiful friendship. Thanks to you, trusting relationships can be formed between caring adults and young people. Relationships that lead our youth from trust to hope.
 
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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I heard

Lately we’ve noticed something interesting at 71Five VoTech. People show up and start conversations with, “I heard…” Questions like: “I heard I can get air for my bike tire here.” Or, “I heard you can fix my taillights!” More importantly, I had a dad come by and say, “I heard you guys work with youth, do you think you might be able to reach my son?” The dad was at a loss to know what to do and was desperate to not lose his son. Together we are seeing his son thrive, make better life choices, engage in activities, learn new skills and most importantly, hear about the love of Jesus. This same family has now taken in a homeless young man and then said, “I heard you can include a boy like this into your classes. I would love to bring him here.” This second young man is also doing well.
 
People also say, “I heard you can use a new saw or a meal to feed the youth.” Have you ever had a tug on your heart to reach the youth of our valley… to be a person who builds trust that leads to hope? If so, you are just the one we’d love to have join 71Five, as a volunteer, prayer warrior or financial partner.
 
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

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best foot forward

Lily has been coming to 71Five Campus in Eagle Point since she was in Middle School. Over the past few weeks, she has gone above and beyond in helping out with things at club and has put her best foot forward while doing so. Lily has shown so much growth since I first met her several years ago. As a High Schooler, she recently became a 71Five Campus Student Leader. What a pleasure it is for me to help lead her in the next steps of growth and watch Lily develop where her desire to help out and set an example for other kids is given room to thrive.
 
It is so important to make sure the youth we minister to have opportunities for growth, and I am blessed to be able to offer every kid the privilege to grow in whatever way they can. Thank you for reaching teens like Lily, helping them grow in their gifts as they grow closer to Jesus!
 
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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