Santa Ana Appreciation Lunch

Do not get tired of doing what is good.  At just the right time you will reap a harvest of blessings.  Galatians 6:9

This past weekend we had the honor of hosting an appreciation lunch with the  volunteers from the Santa Ana Club. Our group was small and intimate. I personally love that we were able to sit down and have a conversation with our volunteers.

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Since we had wrapped up our last club is in Santa Ana we wanted to have our lunch get together in the City of Santa Ana  at the 4th Street Market in Downtown Santa Ana. The 4th Street Market in Downtown Santa Ana is a progressive culinary hub inspired by the spirit of creative chefs, food artisans, and small business entrepreneurs. The restaurant that we chose was Alta Baja Restaurant. Delilah and Lea at Alta Baja were able to help us with our event and they even helped us create our own menu for the lunch. The food was excellent, some of the choices were chilaquiles and blue corn waffles. It was delicious! We were able to thank our volunteers that are loyal,  sincere and full of Joy.

 
I was especially excited to be able to serve our special ladies that cook dinner for club each month. Laura has always gone our of her way to make sure that we always have a special dinner at Santa Ana Club. Laura is in charge of cooking and serving  for the Santa Ana Club. You can see her heart and passion as she has our meal cooked and prepared. It was such an honor to be able to serve a special lunch to our ladies that never get   to sit down with us at club.  We appreciate Laura and her team.

 

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For the volunteers that were not able to make it to our volunteer events, we would like to take the opportunity to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We see a lot of you getting out of work or school and driving straight to club.  We also know that a lot of you have to leave your spouse or children at home while you joyfully serve at club. Most importantly your dedication doesn’t go unnoticed. Your hard labor of love is what makes club run smoothly month after month. The gift of time is priceless and we appreciate our volunteers.

 

 

As we come to a close and we are all excited about this upcoming summer. My prayer is that each and every volunteer  is able to spend time with their family and friends. We have an exciting year coming up for 2017- 2018.

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I ask our Heavenly Father that He rejuvenates each one of us and brings us back to YL excited for what He has planned for this coming year. I look forward to our summer events that are coming up, they are all a lot of fun. I personally love Pancakes in the Park and the summer home/pool events.

1 Corinthian 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

With Gratitude and much Love,

Maria Randall

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The Last Hb Club Of The Year!

Well we wrapped up our last club in Huntington Beach for the school year!!! Crazy right?! Time flies when you’re having a ton of fun!! I am going to try my best to recap the night for those of you that were not able to be there.DSC_0384

 

 

 

 

 

 

The night started out with a delicious dinner of BBQ chicken,rice,salad,watermelon and rolls ( I mean do our food people treat us well or what) Super blessed and super delicious. DSC_0417

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From there we did a cake decorating contest with two teams of girls while the others cheered them on! I loved this because I got to see their creative side come out and for them to just have fun, get messy and create something is beautiful to me. It was too hard to pick a winner so they both ended up winning and taking the cakes home! So fun! DSC_0424We got the privilege of having Tony Gomez come and share his testimony with us which was powerful. I literally saw jaws drop all throughout his story, after the message he got to talk and pray with a lot of teen moms and dads. We ended the night with a little craft, we made braided head bands, super easy and cute!DSC_0397DSC_0400

Appreciation Dinners

“It takes a village,” they say when it comes to having children. I know I say it all the time too but each time I do I believe it more than the time before. This is our 5th year of appreciating the village that makes YoungLives in North Orange County possible. Our area is run on 2 staff members and a whole lot of volunteers!
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The volunteers and the relationships that they form are the key to this ministry. Their relationships with girls, their teams, and the community are what create space for the teen moms and dads to find hope in Christ. It is so fun to get a front row seat to the work God does through each of them. Some have a heart for children and create a safe and loving environment in the nursery. Others have the gift of service and spend their time behind the scenes by setting-up the space, decorating, cleaning etc. Some have the gift of hospitality and prepare the meal for the masses and serve it up with a smile. Others are gifted in relationships and evangelism and share Jesus Christ’s hope and love with the teens. And then there are those that have the gift of leadership that rally people together and send them out in to various roles. Each of these and many more make our monthly club nights possible. It would take another post to talk about the committee members, church partners, and donors that pour in to YoungLives all year long.
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Last week we had a couple of intimate gatherings to appreciate our club volunteers. It was so sweet to see the leaders of each time step up to plan and host their events. We still have some more scheduled this month but I just wanted to share a few pictures of the ones that have already taken place.

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Watching the children of our volunteers grow and serve over the last 5 years has been a joy!

Thank you God for
allowing us to hold a piece of this ministry and love on teen moms and volunteers. May your Words never depart from our lips and may we always be mindful that YoungLives and the village that we are a part of belongs to you.

 

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Baby Bottle Fundraiser

This year at YoungLives, we volunteers were encouraged to help the ministry by giving back financially through a “Passion Project”. These projects can be anything, from running a marathon to silent auctions, hairstyling, photography or a garage sale. We were excited about the fact that all proceeds that were raised by these passion projects would be 100% matched by a generous donor! This got everyone thinking about how they could help raise money for YoungLives.IMG_0899.jpg

My friend Cristen began researching details on doing a baby bottle “change drive” this  is a fundraiser where you hand out baby bottles and ask people to fill them with spare change. After researching this, Cristen got excited about it and asked me to help her. I agreed! What this entailed was buying blank baby bottles, putting a YoungLives label on them and an information slip inside the bottle. Once we were done prepping the bottles, it was time to hand them out. We made our first announcement at a life group, and everyone agreed to take a bottle and fill it with spare change. We were so excited! That next Sunday we announced the campaign at our church, we had ordered 240 bottles and we ran out that first Sunday, we were ecstatic! We ordered 150 more bottles on Monday morning and plan on giving them all away!

Now, you may be thinking, like I was,”how much money could baby bottles full of change possibly raise?” This is the exciting part, the average for one bottle of change is $23.00-$25.00.

That means that there is the potential of raising $6000.00 which becomes $12000.00 with our donor match!

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I think that this is a great example of how the Lord increases our giving. Its amazing how a seemingly small thing can reap so much. The money that we raise with the baby bottles will be used to send our teen moms and babies to a week long summer camp where they will have an opportunity to meet Jesus. Lives could be changed with our change!IMG_0849.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 2 Corinthians 9:10.

 

-Laurie Bradley

Mothers Day Club In Santa Ana!

Well we wrapped up our last club in Santa Ana for the school year!!! Crazy right?! Time flies when you’re having a ton of fun!! I am going to try my best to recap the night for those of you that were not able to be there.

If I could describe the night in one word, that word would be “beautiful” from the moment those teen moms and babies walk into the room I see beauty, all the amazing volunteers that show up faithfully every month to pour into the kids and love on them month after month there is so much beauty in that! Even the dinner was beautiful, chicken & beef tacos, salad, nachos, rice,beans, fruit, and tres leeches cake!! I mean come on!!

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After dinner was game time, we played “never have I ever” I love this game because you can really get to know each other quickly just through this game. You start by sitting in a giant circle with one person in the middle, that person has to yell out something they’ve never done like “never have I ever got stung by a bee!” and then everyone that has got stung by a bee has to get up and run to a new seat. It’s super fun and easy to learn!! We had the privilege of having Jasmine Henderson come share with us, what I loved was she had us all stay in the seated circle and she did most the talk sitting as well, it felt very laid back and intimate.

DSC_0326Let me tell you though, she blew it out of the water with her message on laying all your “mountains” or trials at Jesus’ feet. She shared her personal story of being a single mom and athlete and the struggles that come with that.

 

When she was done talking she had us all turn to our neighbors and share what our biggest “mountains” in our own lives were, she had us promise to each other that whatever was shared would not leave that place. This was a such a sweet time, I really believe there is healing when you can be vulnerable with someone knowing you can share anything and everything trusting that person is not going to tell anyone else.

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At the end of this we prayed giving all these things to the Lord, then she did an alter call at the very end, I believe a couple of teens raised their hands. Praise God!! DSC_0337

 

Later we did a quick craft of rose water body mist (great stuff)  thanks Tracy Sumner! Lastly, I think this was my favorite part, during the craft the guy leaders and teen dads came over and handed each girl a lotion set and necklace for Mothers Day. It made me tear up watching the girls receive them feeling so surprised by these gifts yet so loved and appreciated.

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It made me think of the Father heart of God for these girls, some of them experienced hurt done by men and even their own fathers. It was so cool to watch them receive the gifts, I couldn’t help but think of their heavenly Father who loves them so much and thinks of them as precious rubies. DSC_0350

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I mean if ALL of that is not beautiful than I don’t know what is!! I think seeing these girls slowly open up and realize how Jesus sees them is the most beautiful thing in the world. How blessed we are to be able to play a small part in Gods BIG plan for these teens.

I hope I got everything, I could go on and on about this night because it truly was incredible but I will just leave you with this verse that I’m sure you all know but I think it is a great reminder.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.

Isaiah 61:1-3.

-Kylie Bradley