A place to be cared for

A place to be cared for

At the heart of Youth For Christ is a commitment to meet kids right where they are. YFC ministry leaders walk through life with the 11-19-year-olds they reach, meeting tangible needs and sharing the message of hope in Jesus Christ along the way. The relationships that form through YFC’s ministry are deep and long-standing, as leaders earnestly point kids to the Gospel of Christ, pray fervently that God will interrupt their lives, and celebrate joyfully as they watch the Holy Spirit transform their hearts.

We invite you to read a brief story from Greater Miami YFC about one of these ongoing relationship between a YFC leader and a YFC kid.

Gisela, a 17-year-old senior in Miami, Florida, has been involved with YFC’s high school campus ministry for the past two years after a fellow student, Juliet, invited her to attend a YFC event with her. Before Gisela got connected with YFC, she used to sit alone at lunch, but YFC gave her a place to go where she knew she was cared for. Because of the relationships she made with her fellow students, she started sitting with other kids from her school’s ministry at lunch.

It was during weekly YFC gatherings that Gisela also met and connected with YFC leader, April Lovins, who has played a huge part in her spiritual growth. Gisela accepted Christ in ninth grade while she was a part of a local youth group but was unsure about her eternal security when she came to YFC.

April helped her get involved in a YFC Bible study that helped her understand her faith more deeply, and after being largely disconnected from the church where she was introduced for a while, she began attending church with April every week. Gisela has also joined a YFC relational evangelism small group, where she invites new kids from her school to come with her to YFC, just like Juliet did for her.

April continues to mentor and support Gisela both in her relationship with God and in her daily life. Last year, Gisela, who moved to Miami from Spain when she was six years old, took her oath to become an American citizen with April by her side.

April says Gisela has a natural gifting for hospitality, and because of her experience immigrating to the U.S., she has a sensitivity for students who feel left out. “That combination is beautiful to witness in action as she reaches out to kids at school,” April said.

After graduating high school this year, Gisela will also start the student-to-staff alumni training for Greater Miami YFC, where she will meet bi-weekly for Bible study and training to become a volunteer ministry leader for middle schoolers. Gisela has already prepared and shared her first lesson with other YFC students, and she has continually invited students who are marginalized to come find a place to be cared for in YFC like she did.

“It has been a joy to see the Holy Spirit work in Gisela as she's grown in the last two and a half years. She has become a great student leader and like family to me…I'm incredibly proud of her,” April said.

However, in the midst of these exciting opportunities for Gisela, there has been hardship as well. Recently, Gisela’s abuela (grandmother) was hospitalized at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, and once she recovered, she was unable to keep working as a housekeeper.

But Gisela’s YFC family has continued to walk alongside her, even in this hardship her family is facing. A local teacher, who is a champion of YFC, has been raising money that helped keep Gisela’s family afloat while her abuela cannot work.

It’s because of generous partners like you, who are supporting YFC ministry in various ways, that 11-19-year-olds across the country are connecting and being cared for daily by YFC ministry leaders, while being empowered to then reach kids just like themselves.

Check out our YFC Short Story on ministry in Miami during the COVID-19 season: https://vimeo.com/413292370

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