The Non-judgmental Love of Christ

The Non-judgmental Love of Christ

“I was totally lost, really hopeless, and ashamed of what I was doing with my life…I didn’t really care what happened with me. It was in the YFC chapel and detention center. That’s when I really started to feel the Lord, his presence. I found a sense of peace.”

These are the kinds of statements we hear from the youth we serve when they encounter the everlasting peace of Jesus Christ. Youth For Christ ministry leaders across the country are pursuing Christ-sharing relationships with 11-19-year-olds every day.

“Those moments are the moments that we live for, because it’s God showing up,” Curtis Wright, YFC Kansas City’s Director of Juvenile Justice Ministries, said.

In Kansas City, our YFC team is reaching out to kids in their community through YFC’s Juvenile Justice Ministry, which focuses on teens in a variety of youth-serving institutions (detention centers, probation, correctional facilities, group homes, residential treatment centers, and emergency shelters), and YFC’s Parent Life, which reaches out to teen moms and dads who are pregnant or already parenting to provide mentoring and a sense of Christ-centered community amongst teen parents.

“Our job is to come into that area and to just love them and be present with them, to let them know that this is not the end of the road,” Alex Mathew, YFC Kansas City’s Executive Director, said.

The relationships our leaders are building with teens is proof that our mission and vision are God-sized.

“It’s not a man. It’s not a Ted Talk. It’s the Holy spirit actually impacting the hearts of kids,” Curtis said. “Only God can do that. Now we know that we were planting seeds, and we see them grow.”

Alex believes the real challenge our teens are facing today isn’t substance abuse or criminal activity but in the erosion of family.

“We don’t have a crime problem,” he said. “We don’t have a drug problem. We don’t have a prison problem. We have a father problem in this country. We have a family problem in this country.”

YFC Parent Life was launched in Kansas City because of the relationships staff and volunteers made with the kids they met in the Juvenile Justice Ministry.

“Parent Life started when we saw so many different prayer requests of young people needing help with parenting, and when we saw that, we had to do something about it,” Alex said.

Stephanie Magee, who is the Superintendent of Jackson County Juvenile Detention Center in Kansas City, said YFC has the love of Jesus in its DNA.

“Everybody needs that sense of no matter how much I mess up, I got somebody that will continue to love me and continue to just embrace me without judgment,” Stephanie said. “And I think YFC brings that non-judgmental love of God.”

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