Three Beautiful Words

Three Beautiful Words

“Kayleanna” had come to YFC camp at Black Diamond twice before. I remember meeting her a couple years ago when she was in sixth grade. Now an 8th grader, she is taller, but she is still quiet.

Perhaps she is shy, but I’d venture that it’s probably more than that.

According to her cabin leader, in her two previous years at camp, Kayleanna has never really opened up. 

“Do you want to share anything?” Her leader would prompt.


Her answers were always brief and the conversation-killing type. YFC leaders know that Kayleanna’s lack of words say more than words possibly could. From a tough neighborhood, Kayleanna’s silence comes from distrust. She’s been hurt, and many who were supposed to be there for her had let her down. Sometimes a young person’s silence is the best form of protection to not be hurt again.

But still, her leaders persisted. And Jesus, like always, kept pursuing Kayleanna.

And this year, something was different. Our camp speaker, guided the camp to “solo time,” 15 minutes of beautiful silence for young people to reflect on their relationship with God. At the end of the time, if they wanted to follow Jesus, the camp was given instructions to stand up and shout “yes.” No one else to steer their decision or manipulate their choice - solo time was their opportunity to contemplate what it would mean to follow Jesus. 

After solo time, her cabin leader pressed again.

“How was solo time Kay?” Her leader asked gently. 

“I said ‘yes’.” Kay answered. 

Three beautiful words. I. Said. Yes.

No elaboration. Nothing more. Just three words. But it was enough. Kayleanna is now on a journey. More questions. More challenges. More time to learn what it means to follow Jesus. And we’ll be there every step of the way. 

It’s young people like Kayleanna who make this all worth it. It’s destinies, stories, and journeys that show a trajectory over time towards God’s goodness and pursuit of this generation.

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