YoungLives Golf Tournament 2017

I am not a blog writer 364 days of the year. I am though asked to share my thoughts, outcome and goals for the Annual Young Lives North OC Golf Tournament each year, so here you go…

We just had our second annual golf tournament on Thursday July 20, 2017. The tournament went very well, as far as staying on schedule. I again have been notified by many that this tournament is quickly becoming one of their favorite events of the year. This is of course great news for me and the team of volunteers, that the Lord has brought alongside me to pull this event off.

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Last year after the tournament, you may recall reading about the faith needed and the battles included, in sustaining the faith needed to pull off this event.

Well once again, this turned out to be my get out of the boat and walk on the water to Jesus’ outstretched arms moment. This is without a doubt a real head scratcher. What I mean is why would I put myself in such a place each year? I know I have faith, however do I have trust? 

Seems to me that as long as we are inhabiting these tents we call bodies, we will battle having Faith + Trust more than we care to.

Last year I wrote about mustard seed sized faith, as being all that is needed to move even a mountain. I told you of the story of both my children being in the ICU at different times in their lives with different ailments. I explained how God showed up both times to heal them, while explaining that executing the golf tournament took even more faith than waiting for my kids be healed.17457972_10213425570532178_5499984615236569070_n.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This time I will remind you of a story of a lunch sized portion of food, that was used to feed thousands of people (Matthew 15: 32-39).

As this years tournament grew closer and closer, the bottom line was dismal. The golf fund was over eight thousand dollars in the red the day of. We had a prayer meeting at my house the night before. We asked God to show up as only He can. I was very much uneasy. I put the debt on my credit card in order to pull off the event.

My wife Chris and myself, are not in the habit of being in debt. That’s another lesson from The Lord for another time. This though was when I stepped out of the boat.

On paper, the bottom line if you will, showed a storm was in the works. Guess what, God reminded me He is not a bottom line God. What you see in moments of literally putting yourself out on the choppy water, is not at all what God sees.

What God sees, is a group of people, willing to put all the Faith + Trust they can muster up and blesses that. The next thing you know, the thousands are fed.

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We as a team, kept telling ourselves that though we love these teen moms and dads, we know God loves them all the more.

We wound up at the end of the day, coming away with just over four thousand dollars profit. God has graciously brought forth an anonymous donor to match that amount.

I can say that our first Silent Auction, or the amazing Raffle items we had, or the mini Car Show that showed up stirring the people up was the reason. Then I could say we were forty golfers lighter than last years tournament for various reasons. Those reasons would simply discount what God is capable of. He did this! He took some people who want to help people and did what only He can do.

With all that said, we will rely on God Almighty once again for the third annual golf tournament on July 25, 2018. That is a Wednesday, at the same venue the Navy Golf Course in Seal Beach.

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We hope to have Air 1 Radio join us next year and hopefully a full field of golfers, now that we proved we can get the round of golf done in four hours.

Please be in prayer for the tournament. The 2018 tournament will be the last year of having the proceeds matched, we want this to be huge, like our God.

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 -Mike Nelson

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Summer Camp 2017!!

 

Young Lives Camp 2017 at Lost Canyon

Camp season always comes and goes so quickly for me. With so much fun, bonding, and adventure all crammed into one short week, I’m sure everyone is still processing just how special of a week camp was. My name is Sarah Sprague and I started out just like these girls, experiencing Young Life camp as a camper in high school, then a volunteer leader at camp for 4 years, and now have gone to YoungLives camp for the first time as a leader this past week (as I’m sure you know Young Life’s camp for just teen moms). It quickly became one of my most cherished camp weeks.

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Teen moms and their babies, childcare workers, and leaders, all packed up on the bus to Williams, Arizona, to experience one of the best weeks of their lives. The reasonwhy I love this specific camp so much is that it lets teen moms have space to be kids again! It’s unbelievable the amount of responsibility they carry and I admire them for sacrificing so much for their kids! So this week was all about them for once!  While most activities were planned for the girls, we had a lot of free time to play with their kids in the pool, in the huge grass field, at the carnival, and on play structures. We also shared three meals a day all together, which I don’t even do with my own family, so I think it meant a lot to all of us that we could have family-style meals with each other the whole time we were at camp.

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Childcare drop off was hard the first couple of days for our girls, but our amazing childcare volunteers had sucha great system for play time and naps! It was mind-blowing sometimes going to pick up the children and all the kids would be asleep napping, with pack-n-plays all lined up side by side. Once they knew their babies were in safe hands, they were able to let go and JUMP INTO all the crazy activities that were planned for them— messy games, cabin unity competitions, horseback riding, square dancing, carnival games, and nighttime zipline as well. The girls (and myself included) had to gain enough courage to go on the 50 foot swing and the zipline where you had to climb up this mountain to start but there were definitely no regrets afterwards. My favorite day though was our Spa day where all the teen moms got pampered with massages, facials, manicures, a yoga session, and a craft session too. Here are some of our themed dress ups:
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If you ask any kid who goes to camp what their favorite part of camp was— most of them will say cabin time. We got to have cabin time where we sit with each other and process together the message we heard about Jesus at club, and talk about the struggles we’re all facing back at home. This is such a sweet and sacred time for us girls. After singing and dancing to crazy, silly songs in club, laughing through the program team’s skits, then listening to Debbie, our camp speaker, share these stories about Jesus in the Bible that made them real for us, cabin time is where we broke down our walls, were real with God and real with each other.At the end of the week, we have a club called “Say-so” which means that you were given the opportunity to tell the whole camp that you decided to follow Jesus this week, and why you decided to follow Him. Little did they know, they got to walk across this large Cross from a box that said “Us” to a box that said “God,” acknowledging that they believe Jesus dying on the cross was for them, and so they could be with God forever. It was such a sweet moment for everyone, and for me as well, as two of our girls walked across the Cross, knowing they are coming home to the same Jesus they met at camp, and a God who will never leave them or abandon them. I’m excited to see these girls grow this year in their faith and continue to be the women and mothers God designed them to be for their little ones.
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All that being said, if you have not experienced YoungLives camp— YOU NEED TO GO! Come and see for yourself! Whether you are an adult guest, a teen mom, an expecting mom-to-be, volunteer mentor, a husband and wife, anyone— it was made for you too.

With love,

Sarah

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Danny Gokey Concert

“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9.

Each month I attend the committee meeting where we discuss, plan and strategize the future of YoungLives. This is a time for updates, suggestions, status reports, and prayer over various subjects pertaining to this ministry. One significant topic we review each month is our budget. Our faithful Finance Manager, Ryan McCarty, explains where we are in terms of goals and needs and always presents ample data and reports to help us see our financial future. There’s usually an encouraging outlook but also a gentle reminder that we need the Lord to be in this or it will never work.  I’m sure I’m not the only one silently asking, “Lord, what would you have us to do?”

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Well, a few months ago the answer came in the form of an invitation to share what we’re doing. Myrna was given the opportunity to share her heart and her passion for YoungLives with some local churches and the next thing we know we’re having a benefit concert. Really Lord?! Wow! Exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ask or think! Thanks to the generous support of Tim Taber and Transparent Productions, we had a packed house at Rose Friends Church in Yorba Linda for the Danny Gokey concert benefitting North Orange County YoungLives.

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What a glorious night it was! VIP ticket holders enjoyed an intimate time of dinner and fellowship with Danny Gokey before the show and listened to a live testimony from one of our graduated moms. Danny answered questions, posed for pictures and even sang a few songs.My heart was warmed as I watched him scurry backstage a little before show time with his plate of food that he didn’t have time to eat at the dinner. 19453020_10155592264048094_6020753820515953853_o.jpgThe show was amazing! A perfect mix of Danny’s current hits and worship songs brought a beautiful balance between excitement and awe. Myrna was given the stage to share about this wonderful ministry that was birthed from her love and dedication to teen moms and dads. Next, Crystal’s video aired as she shared her story of how YoungLives has impacted her life. I watched from the back of the room where I was able to see people wiping away tears because they were so moved by what they heard. Many of whom made their way to our information table to pick up literature, sign up to get involved or offer financial support. IMG_2946After everything was over, merchandise packed up, trash collected, lights going out we headed toward the parking lot. To my surprise I saw Danny sitting at a little roll away table signing autographs and visiting with the last few fans waiting to meet him. What a blessed night! If I had to choose one word to describe this night it would be humbling. Humbled by Danny Gokey sharing his gift and giving of himself.

Humbled by the willingness and generosity of Tim Taber and Transparent Productions to provide this unimaginable opportunity. Humbled by the favor of God. Humbled that He unfolds His plan and provision even as we are unaware.

-Sue Groff