I have known Jesus all my life. I cling to the beautiful gift of being raised in the church, loved unconditionally by parents who worshipped God and surrounded by a body of believers who generously shared the truth about Christ.
Knowing Jesus and being surrounded by love did not mean that growing up was easy. But I had a safe place to discover my “real” self. In the church, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was a child of God. I knew God was real; and He made me real. In that church building were people who cared and cared enough to build relationships with me, even when I was a teenager. That’s where my love of youth ministry was born…in my own teenage youth group.
God has called me to create that “church building” for military teens through Youth for Christ and Military Community Youth Ministries’ Club Beyond. My heart races for those teenagers who have no “real” place to call home, no “real” place to feel safe. My desire is to help them discover that the real place is with Jesus, not in a building or a relationship with others. A relationship with Jesus can and will go with them everywhere. It is their safe place; the place where they will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are a real child of God.
The journey from adolescence to adulthood has never been easy, but it is even harder for military teens who must cope with frequent moves and one or more parents who must deploy to combat areas around the globe. Together, we will “celebrate life with military teens; introduce them to the Life-Giver, Jesus Christ; and help them become more like Him.”