Easter Club

Every month teen moms, dads and their children gather together with their mentors and other volunteers for a really fun evening! Last week we saw many familiar faces at club (and some new ones too) as we celebrated Easter together!

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Laurie Bradley, our Club Coordinator, plays a big role behind the scenes every week making sure club runs smoothly. This week she took the podium to share the club talk. She did an amazing job sharing her story in a real and honest way that encouraged us to focus on the cross as we approach Easter. She shared that it doesn’t matter what our past was, Jesus loves us and died on the cross to take the pain of the past away. At the end of the talk, we had an opportunity to nail our “sins” to the cross.

DSC_0741After experiencing the freedom of nailing our sins to the cross, the girls moved on to a craft – creating Resurrection Eggs! Each DSC_0637egg crate came with 12 plastic eggs and we filled each one with a tiny symbol of Easter. What a great keepsake and reminder of the true meaning of Easter!

 

While we joyfully celebrated the new life we have in Christ because of His death and Resurrection, we also got to celebrate new life with one of our moms! Congratulations to Cheridan on the birth of baby John who arrived on February 28th.

DSC_0649Cheridan and baby John

Every month we continue to be encouraged about the amazing work God is doing in our own lives as well as the lives of the volunteers and teen moms we are so privileged to know. We look forward to Easter with humble and grateful hearts knowing that Christ made the ultimate sacrifice to give us the ultimate gift!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” I Peter 1:3

 

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Ice Cream Fundraiser

Thanks to everyone who came out on a cold and rainy weekend to support YoungLives!

photo 1We raised nearly $500 selling ice cream bars at Bob’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream Bars at the OC Swap Meet! That’s enough to send one mom and her baby to camp this summer! We are so thankful that we can provide this experience for one more mom and her baby!

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A special shout out to all the teen moms and dads who came to help promote sales – you made all the difference! Who knew we could sell so much ice cream on cold, rainy days?! Everyone made the best of the day and it was a fun way to tell people about YoungLives and raise money for the ministry at the same time!

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Even some of photo 3the kids got in on the action – selling AND eating ice cream! 🙂

Many thanks to the graduated moms who came to help as well! Because of their great experiences at camp in the past, they were eager to help provide for other moms to have the same experience this summer!  It was a blessing for me to see these moms have a chance to give back to other moms. And I think it was pretty special for them too!

This was the first of several micro-fundraisers we have planned to support the ongoing ministry of YoungLives. Stay tuned for info on other upcoming opportunities to support the ministry!

YoungLives is Life Changing!

We had such a great club in February! We have been seeing a consistent group of teen dads as well as a group of teen moms and mentors from Santa Ana. When I look around the room full of moms, dads, babies, and volunteers my heart leaps with excitement.

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This year we have several male mentors mentoring teen dads.

We played a hilarious game where pairs fed each other ice cream while laying down on their backs. Everyone laughed so hard.

ice cream game

For the craft we worked on a scrapbook! The goal was to have the teen moms and dads take a moment to think about what YoungLives means to them. The moms and dads were so creative! One quote that stood out to me was one of the graduated moms that wrote “YoungLives is life changing” and she said that that was all she needed to write to express what YoungLives means to her. I can’t wait for all of you to see the finished scrapbook!

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“YoungLives has really made a difference in my life…”

The talk this month was about sin. I was a little bit nervous about how I would bring truth yet also being sensitive. The scripture I shared was the woman caught in adultery. One thing I remembered as I prepared was something my Pastor, Andrew Schey, shared with me once in discipleship training- when you speak with the authority of the Word, you don’t have anything to worry about.

When I was in high school I had a falling out with a close friend over a miscommunication. Although we resolved our differences, things were never the same after that incident. The misunderstanding that we had separated us from that point forward. In a similar way our sin separates us from God.

In John 8 Jesus took the time to see the woman caught in adultery and show her that she was valuable. The townspeople were their with stones in hand to condemn her and Jesus reminds them that we all are sinners- white lies, sleeping around, betrayal, stealing, cheating, lying… the list goes on. Standing their completely exposed, the woman watches each stone drop to the ground as her attackers walk away one by one. She looks up at the one left standing, the one that doesn’t have any sin, and Jesus tells her he doesn’t condemn her either. He then tells her to go home and leave the life she is living. He gained her trust by defending her and he also helped her move towards a more satisfying life.

At club, I used an illustration to show the group how God sees our value despite the sin and messiness that we bring. Oftentimes I feel like the woman in this story, I feel like what I have done, where I have been, and what I have experienced is too gross for Jesus, and even others, to handle. In the illustration I asked the group to picture a crisp one hundred dollar bill as us and a plastic bowl as our life. I then proceeded to dump a can of spam over the 100 dollar bill- to represent the hatred and anger in our lives, then a bottle of mayo- to represent the lying, cheating, and stealing, then sardines- to represent each of the things that we do that we know we shouldn’t do, then single serve containers of green mush- to represent the sins that others have committed against us. It was a smelly, gross-looking, completely inedible mess. I proceeded to throw it away and stopped midway and asked if anyone thought I should keep it. A few said no and a few said “THERE IS ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS IN THERE!”

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With all of the sin and junk in our life and the sins of others that impact us, we are still valuable. Just like the one hundred dollar bill our value does not change. Jesus sees us and he reminds us that he has a more satisfying life in store for us. He says you can be free of guilty, shame, and fear. You are not alone. You are loved, beautiful and perfect.