The following letter from a City Life volunteer demonstrats exactly what we have been discussing on this blog.  This volunteer hasn't stayed in his own world, but joined the world of urban youth and invited those youth to join his world.  This volunteer is such a great example and has a great perspective!

When I first came to a Youth for Christ "See the Story" tour at the City Life Center, a volunteer said "...and if you're not careful, you'll fall in love with these kids." Maybe her, I thought. I'm still working on loving my own kids. But I'll give Youth for Christ a shot.
One of the first times I met with Arch, Dave, Gabe and John, I asked about their families. John said, "I don't really have a dad." To which Arch answered, "Who does?" And my heart broke. Arch's dad is in prison; Dave's and John's live outside the state but never see or write them. Gabe is the only one with both parents at home. That's about the ratio for all the YFC junior high boys.
Something about Arch caught my attention. Maybe he tried a little harder in Bible study. When Steve Knotts (City Life Staff) encouraged us to get together with the kids outside Club night to build relationships (which is where it all starts when you're trying to shine God's light into lives), I prayed that God would open a door for me and Arch. He did. He had Arch ask me if we could hang out some day.
Thus started a relationship with a bright young guy who at 13 is the "man" of the house and who watches his three younger siblings when his mom sometimes has work cleaning houses. He is often my fourth child on family outings, and he plays big brother to my 6-year-old son well. At JV Club, he brings and reads his 1-Minute Bible, consistently "beats" the other guys in our question-and-answer contest for prizes like M&Ms or Snickers. I wondered if it was right to offer candy as incentives to get kids to read Bibles. I decided it was OK when I saw the winners split their prizes with others without being asked. Arch always keeps an extra for his Mom.
Once I was playing music at the Xenos Sunday service near where the boys live. I offhandedly mentioned to Arch that he ought to come hear us. I was surprised when in he walked with his Mom and siblings. That's when I realized that he's really listening to me. I'm no longer just a volunteer, but a steward of a relationship. He gave me his trust. Will I fail him like other men in his life? Pray that I do not. Pray that he continue to open his heart to God, and lead in his family, in our club, in his neighborhood. He will need lots of prayer; I see the pull of the world on him now. At 13 it's still OK to go to City Life Center. Not long from now, it may not be "cool." He will have to choose between God and the world.
There are cool things happening with Dave and John too. Dave frustrates me because he is easily distracted. But when I least expect it he is other-focused and really surprises me. Like remembering that my uncle was ill and asking how he's doing. What junior high boy remembers someone's uncle? John has a great mind. He doesn't even read his Bible, but wins nearly as much candy as Arch. God gave John keen intellect and good discernment. Pray that he can use these gifts for God. Gabe, well... he keeps us laughing. I once asked where Joseph in the Bible was a slave, and hinted that the country was currently in the news, to which Gabe shouted "Afghanistan!" Please pray that he pays closer attention.
In the winter I took the boys sledding. The hill was full of daring kids and a few brave adults. Everyone shared sleds (the other guy's sled always seems more fun). I am 48 and not as spry as I used to be, but I mustered the courage to slide down the hill. My first run was quickly stopped short by 90 pounds of 12-year-old who didn't see me. He bounced; me not so much. I limped back up the hill, wiping a bloody nose, seeing through watery eyes the joy on their faces, hearing their laughter as they swooshed down the hill. In the midst of my momentary light affliction, it occurred to me that the YFC volunteer was right. If you're not careful, you will fall in love with these kids.
Risking being wounded again, I committed myself to my sled and plunged down the hill after them.
Dave Biros, YFC Volunteer

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