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Skyler

Skyler is pretty outgoing and drops by the youth center a lot but never stays for the Message (the part when we talk about Jesus). Even though he simply peeks in to say “Hi”, this doesn’t stop me from doing what I can to cultivate a trusting relationship with him. A few weeks ago, when he was grabbing dinner after he actually stayed for our entire middle school group (which is a praise report itself), I was able to connect with him on a deeper level as he opened up to me about his family life and the responsibilities he has at home looking after his little brothers. It’s easy for me to feel like the small encounters aren’t amounting to much, but then I realize that kids like Skyler are being impacted through the 71Five… even if it’s just a little bit here and there.
 
Thank you for partnering with 71Five and for using your gifts to change the outcome of the lives of youth for the better.
 
PETER KUHL,  71Five Campus Coordinator – Eagle Point 
(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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A Little Grace Is Needed

Elementary boys at 71Five City like to play hard and sometimes their attitudes are an issue. When disputes happen during our games, every boy turns into both a referee and a lawyer! Josh is no exemption, but today was different. He really struggled with his temper. When a kid continues to be disruptive during club, I make it a point to talk with their parents. When Josh’s mom came to pick him up, based on both her appearance and the small talk we had, I quickly realized it wasn’t just Josh having a bad day. Quite possibly behind a kid having a difficult day there may be a tremendously challenging situation at home. I decided to give Josh a little grace and offered to pray for them during the week.
 
Many of the kids that arrive at 71Five are coming from families that are broken and dealing with cycles of poverty and addiction. As we walk with these kids, we get to extend grace to them like Jesus does to us. Thank you for extending light and grace into dark and hard situations!
 
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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The Eleventh Hour

I received a text from Trevor just before middle school camp. He’d stopped coming to club and wasn’t really plugged in to begin with. The text read, “I sort of got in some trouble and was wondering if you had any volunteer opportunities?” Within an instant, the Lord prompted my heart to invite him to be a leader in training at 71Five Camp. I hesitated to respond but after praying, I was confident in what the Lord encouraged me to do. When I responded, he anxiously replied “Ok, I’ll go.” My hesitations and worries were blown out of the water as I saw the Lord at work in his life. Many of the student’s most memorable moments were a direct result of Trevor’s leadership, compassion, character, and love. It was on the last day of camp he rededicated his life to Jesus and as it came time to part ways, Trevor was excited to get back into club, his church, and begin rearranging his priorities.
 
Unfortunately, when we returned, I didn’t hear from Trevor for over 2 months. I reached out to him several times with no response. When our 71Five VoTech training was to begin a new session, I reached out relentlessly with the same result. After training had already begun, the Lord was still urging me to pursue Trevor. He reminded me that He pursues us always, even when we don’t respond. In the 11th hour so to speak, Trevor reached out to me. He’s now enrolled in our program, living at 71Five VoTech housing, and doing extraordinarily well. I’m looking forward to writing about the next chapter of Trevor’s story as God continues to use 71Five to pursue relationships that lead to hope.
 
FARRAH GUTHRIE,  71Five City – Grants Pass Coordinator  
(541) 840-6544 | 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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Unlike Any Other!

“I knew it was just a matter of time before I missed it,” expressed Grace on the way home from our day trip to the Waterworks Park in Redding California. “That was the longest summer, and I couldn’t wait to get back to go to Thursday’s club. The environment at 71Five is a comfortable and safe one, and the energy there is unlike any other! And high school camp was so awesome! I’ve never felt so safe and confident being myself. I’m SO going to tease my brother on how much he missed out on not coming today!” These are the words coming from a teenage girl who, when I first met her, would never leave her younger brother’s side and only attend Elementary Club at 71Five, even though she was in high school. Seeing her leave home, attend a 4-day camp where she accepted Jesus as her Lord & Savior and was baptized, and then come to an event all on her own and share her feelings towards our high school club with such positivity and excitement made my heart overflow with abundant joy! This was a sweet reminder that every moment we spend with these kids makes a difference. Whether it’s one-to-one mentoring or group mentoring, seeds of hope are being planted and kids’ lives are being changed.
 
Thank you for being a part of each of these kids’ personal growth and maturity in the confidence of Christ! You are making a difference!
 
DARLENE KNUDSON,  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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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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