Jayanna’s story

Everyone wants a fairytale. I was positive that I would end up happily ever after with a guy that I was dating for a few years. After he proposed to me, we discovered that I was pregnant! We were so excited for our future and our little family.. Unfortunately, he didn’t last. He left half-way through the pregnancy, and I was on my own from there. I worked hard to pay my rent, bills, buy food, etc. I couldn’t stand to allow myself to depend on anyone for anything. I grew to be very independent throughout my pregnancy. I had three major complications consisting of Hyperemesis, Preeclampsia, and Hellp Syndrome. The raw heartbreak of completely losing someone that I loved so much tore me apart. It turned into physical pain, and to this day I can feel the ache if I concentrate on it. I became very cold-hearted and un-trusting. I began recording my feelings in the form of poetry, which I hope to transform into a collection and publish.

A co-worker invited me to a YoungLives club in March 2016. I was skeptical, but I decided to try it at least once. A pastor spoke to the group with an up-lifting message about Good Friday and Easter Sunday. We made decorated crosses, and I was even randomly selected to receive one of the floral centerpieces at the end of the night. This was the most fun I had since August 2015. I finally had something to look forward to. At club I heard the stories of YoungLives leaders and volunteers. I felt surrounded by love and support for the very first time in my life. I was encouraged, and it gave me the confidence to be a great mom for my baby.

Myrna Bittar and Brittany Pacheco took me under their wings and showed me just how much God really loves me. I have been extremely fortunate to experience His love for me and I can’t wait to share this with amazing, pure, and profound love with my baby.

I was induced on May 23rd and my gorgeous daughter, Maria Jude, arrived on May 25th at 6:55 AM.13626991_284670905220513_1839463353389943297_n.jpg

Myrna invited Maria and I to YoungLives Camp at Lost Canyon in Arizona. Camps generally make me nervous so my first response is to decline, but for some-reason I felt like I needed to go. I thank God that I went to Lost Canyon because I made new friends, strengthened my relationship with God, had a lot of fun, and I was even able to forgive Maria’s father for leaving us which is allowing me to move-on with my life.13686620_10101954799837557_5399406447140723828_n.jpg

Maria is currently 2 months old. She’s healthy, strong, beautiful, and she has a huge personality. I never thought that I could ever love anyone more than her father, but she’s here and she is the only reason I’m still breathing. Maria and I are very fortunate to have our health. We are so loved and supported by the community around us and I am incredibly thankful. I pray for peace, happiness, health, and love and God never fails to answer my prayers. I won’t lie, I still have some very rough days, but my daughter makes everything worthwhile. Without the sour, the sweet wouldn’t taste

I was crushed that my fairytale had slipped through my fingers, and I was angry at myself because I felt that it was my fault. Little did I know, my fairytale was growing in my tummy. Maria is my best friend and I am so thankful for her.

YoungLives brought out the best in me, and I am looking forward to hopefully becoming a YoungLives leader myself. I want to be a part of the life changing event in the lives of young parents and I truly want to pay it forward. Without the help and support from YoungLives and volunteers like Myrna, Brittany, Kylie, Laurie, Colleen, Massa, Lisa, and everyone else, I wouldn’t be a strong as I am today. My relationship with God would be very un-sturdy and I wouldn’t have this genuine happiness that I feel in my bones.

In conclusion, I want to say thank you: To everyone who makes YoungLives possible. Your hard work is making a huge difference for all of us.

-Jayanna Hendley

 

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Camp from a nannies perspective!

Hey everyone! I’m camryn and want to share a little about my week at camp, watching all the super cute little babies. 

  So, the beginning of the week we didn’t really know what to expect until we met all the babies and then we knew after that this was going to be an insane week. right away I met this adorable little girl that I instantly loved, her name was Neveah, she was about a year and a half.
Man, was she tough. She pretty much cried the whole time that we had her, sometimes it was up to seven hours a day. We were all so tired by the end of the week and pretty ready to go home, but before we left all babies, moms, and nannies all went into the club room and got to see all that God did that week and all the girls that accepted Christ into their hearts, it was soo rad to watch because Neveah’s mom ended up accepting Jesus into her heart! I knew at that moment that all the crying and all around hard week, it was all soo worth it! I would for sure do it all again just for that moment.

 

 

I wasn’t planning on going to camp but I decided to go sort of last minute, I am so glad I went because if I didn’t I wouldn’t have been able to see all the amazing things God did that week! It was a life changing week, not only for the teen moms but for me and the other nannies as well! IMG_6011.jpeg

 

-Camryn Bradley, age 15

 

 

Best Week of Your Life

This is our area’s 4th year taking girls to Lost Canyon Camp. I cannot help but get excited just dreaming about where this year’s group of campers will be a few years from now-  How will this week shape their faith? How will it impact the way the do relationships? How will they be better mothers because of the time they spend investing in themselves? What will they remember when they look back on this week?

Please join me in praying that this is the best week of their lives!

 

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Summer 2016

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Summer 2015

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Summer 2014

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Summer 2013

 

Pancakes in the park

We just had our 4th annual Pancakes in the Park – a family friendly event at Lake Park in Huntington Beach. It was so much fun!13497948_10101936429047767_4598670326260740526_o

The purpose of the event is to raise money to help send teen moms and their babies to a life-changing summer camp. Hundreds of people came out to support YoungLives!
From all you can eat pancakes and sausage, to delicious fresh-brewed coffee, it was a great way to start the day. The generosity of everyone who came was so encouraging! As with any large event, it took an army of volunteers to put on this event. Volunteers arrived at 6am to start prepping the area, setting up tables and chairs, making coffee and mixing up the pancake batter!

Another fun aspect of the Pancake Breakfast is the Craft Fair!13497626_10101936427860147_1165419966451381090_o This year we had nearly 20 different local vendors who were selling a variety of handmade items. Each of them donated a portion of their proceeds to help send girls to camp!

 

 

We are so thankful for all of the volunteers and craft fair vendors who made this event possible! Because of your generosity, we will be sending 7 girls and 3 volunteers to camp later this month! During the week of July 11th, be sure to check our blog and Facebook page for updates from camp!13490823_10101936427510847_4703376318574914966_o