Starting Over

Pete was sitting at a table with his head buried in his chest, completely withdrawn from everyone in the middle school lunchroom. But when one of Youth For Christ’s military ministry leaders sat down at that same table and asked if anyone had a parent in the military, Pete came to life. His head raised and his hand shot up as he said, “Hey, my dad is in the military!”

Like many kids from military families, Pete had relocated multiple times in his short life. Living five different places in his 14 years, he found it easier to isolate himself than to get to know people in each new place. Even on occasions when he started to connect with friends, the call came to move the family and he found himself starting over.

While everyone has a desire to be known and loved, teens especially are on a quest for connection and purpose. Military teens deal with the same issues multiplied exponentially by the transitions they encounter (moving an average of 7 to 9 times by high school graduation). On top of that they often struggled with the stress of knowing their mom or dad may or may not make it home from duty.

“I immediately encouraged Pete and reminded him how incredible he was for making all those moves and related my own story in which my wife and I had lived in five different homes, three countries, and two continents in the past 14 years - confirming the strength it took to end up somewhere in the middle of the school year with other kids already connected in groups and activities, I then invited him to a bowling event with other kids of military parents,” recounts one of YFC Military’s leaders.

That day was followed by a note from Pete’s mom saying not only had Pete been blessed by the leader making the effort to talk to him, but she had been blessed as well because someone paid attention to her son. Pete attended the bowling event and had a blast. He connected with other kids in similar situations and experiences and leaders who understand the difficulties they face.

With Pete’s dad overseas, YFC leaders continue to encourage and connect with him and others like him by doing things like a dinner just for young men with deployed dads.

With an estimated 300,000 teenagers of military parents around the world, the need for connection and support is great. And in a world filled with transition and potential turmoil, the need for a connection with the Savior is even greater.

Please lift Pete, other teens like him, their families, and Youth For Christ leaders up in prayer. Read more stories of hope for YFC Military teens at

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