And So Train the Young Women…

Summer time! I was reminded this summer by a gifted women’s ministry teacher who taught on Titus 2: 3-5, “And so train the young women to love their husbands, and children, to be self-controlled, pure, to work in their homes and to do good…….”

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I have had the privilege to help in this ministry for 4 years. I am currently helping as a   Coordinator for the Santa Ana YL Ministry. Although we might take on different tasks within the ministry I have gotten to meet many different young teen moms in the Costa Mesa and Santa Ana areas. This past June, I was able to witness a handful of teen moms  graduate from the ministry. Although the young mamas have graduated, it’s tough to not think of or pray for them. In the past, I would get together with some of the teen moms at my house or other outside YoungLife events called Campaigners (a bible study & craft event). Some of the young mamas contacted me since they missed our small intimate get-togethers. During the summer God moved everyone’s schedule around and we were able to get together for dinner. And guess what? The girls were even able to get baby sitting for the evening! We met up at Gypsy Den in Santa Ana (so yummy!) We shared each other’s goals and accomplishments.

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One teen mom that I have personally seen graduate from high school is Georgina. Georgina is a teen mom of twin boys. I have gotten to know her personally and have walked and prayed along side her on a few trials of her life these past few years.  Georgina was able to gain confidence in moving ahead in obtaining a High School Diploma. She has been able to accomplish a few goals like obtaining her drivers license, getting her own apartment, purchasing her first car, and working full time for a local hospital. Georgina shared how she was able to share her testimony at a YL Golf Fundraiser event this past June. Crystal encouraged the other Girls on how her YL Video and Testimony has been viewed  by thousands of people. Including at the Fish Fest Concert (at the Honda Center) and at a Danny Gokey Concert. Crystal works for a major business chain and is on her way to a management position. Fatima shared her great news of working for the John Wayne Airport.  She also shared on how she has a healthy relationship with her boyfriend and they are on their way to one day getting married and having their own apartment. Maria shared with us how she now has a healthy relationship with her family. Maria would like to go back to school and one day attend college to further her career. I have seen Maria grow as a young mama and how she cares for her children. Maria has overcome toughobstacles in her life and is so grateful for YL. Wendy shared with us that she and her family attend church regularly.  She was excited to share on how her boyfriend (also a graduated teen dad from YL) is a security officer.   They have big goals and trust that God will open doors for her and her family. It was so encouraging to see that we all wanted to continue to fellowship together.

FullSizeRender.jpgAfter dinner we took a little walk through the streets of DTSA.We went out for ice cream at La Michoacana.  So Good!  We all agreed to keep in contact and continue to get together for prayer, encouragement, and friendship. I am looking forward to our next get together with some of our graduated young moms from the Santa Ana and Costa Mesa Area.

~Maria Randall

 

 

 

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Fall Kick-Off 2017

I’ve always been a big fan of the fall season because it represents a new beginning…a clean slate…a new composition book…a new Bible study. Nothing yet written or underlined or highlighted. Even as a kid I loved the new school year. Getting to see my friends I hadn’t seen all summer, meeting new friends, getting to know the teachers, fresh new pencils, etc…(I could go on and on!) Anyway, I think this is why I love the YoungLives Fall Kick-Off so much.

It’s a time of reconnecting with the returning volunteers and meeting those that are just getting started. It’s a time of being reminded why YoungLDSC_0612ives exists – to provide faith, hope and love to teen moms & dads & their babies. It’s also a time to reassess which part we will each play – mentor, childcare, food prep, hospitality, committee. We were refreshed, reminded, and encouraged by Pastor John Teter who came to share with us about Understanding and Developing Giftedness, that we each have a call from the Lord and that the primary purpose for our personal gifts are for His purposes. (Side note – God ADORES this ministry and blesses us with some of the most incredible teachers and speakers – it’s crazy!)

At this Kick Off, like the others that have happened before, we were also given the opportunity to hear from several different leaders about the various roles that need to be fulfilled. Again I am struck with the village it takes to accommodate this particular demographic of teens. But what is even more striking is how God orchestrates this village. Seriously…why else would a roomful of gifted people from all different churches, from all different walks of life, give up 5 hours on a bright and sunny Saturday to gather for this training day?

G O D  I N  U S.

We can’t help but to fulfill His purposes. He wants the hearts of these teens and their children and He has appointed us to use our gifts to meet them where they are and to provide faith, hope and love to them. This never ceases to amaze me.

A New Season

God never ceases to amaze me in how He works and cares for this ministry so much better than any of us could. I look back on the last five and a half years and I see that He has orchestrated everything- the small details and the big things too!

With amazement still in my heart, I want to announce the hiring of Colleen Drew as North Orange County YoungLives’ Area Administrator! Five years ago I sat across from a table at Starbucks with Colleen and she told me that she loved the mission of this ministry and wanted to provide fresh flower arrangements for our first club- she has been around ever since making all kinds of arrangements behind the scenes to bring beauty, order, and just get stuff done as a volunteer and committee member. Over the last couple of years she has come alongside myself and the men and women that have devoted their time and energy to see the longevity of this ministry by serving as our committee chair. Along with her husband, Tom, Colleen has sat in countless committee meetings seeking the Lord’s direction as we have prayed about the next step, next school, next city, next fundraiser, etc. She has been a part of our banquet team, pancake breakfast team, planned volunteer appreciation dinners, done decorations for countless events, loved on babies, advocated for the ministry, and pretty much shared about it with everyone that knows her with a smile plastered across her face. She gets the heartbeat of this ministry and with her whole heart wants to see the mamas, babies and dads that we serve come to know the love and hope of Christ. I am excited to see her corporate experience and passion will intersect to meet some very real needs in our area as we are given new opportunities, step in to more schools to reach teen moms and dads, and our area continues to grow.

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As I sit in excitement about this next season, I also want to acknowledge the end of a season. At the end of this month we will be sending off Kylie Bradley who has served on staff with us both administratively and out in the field with teens over the last two years. It has been a true joy to share the staff roles with Kylie, work in the office with her, pursue teen parents, plan clubs, and most of all watch the Lord at work in her life and heart. The thing that has been most beautiful about watching from my seat has been seeing her humility to pick up the menial tasks that maybe no one would ever find out about as she has simultaneously sought the Lord in how He would call her to use her giftings and passion to love and disciple others. I cannot wait to see how the Lord uses her in this next season.

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Thank you friends for being a part of this journey. You may not know it, but your support of our staff team is so much appreciated.

 

With Love,

Myrna Bittar

Area Director

Fall Kick-Off

We hope you’re all having a wonderful summer. It’s that time again! We are gearing up for this next school year and are super excited for what God has in store! You are invited to join us for this years Fall Kick Off: Saturday, August 19th 8:30am-1:30pm at Rockharbor Church Offices: 3095 Red Hill Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. You can click here to sign up!!

Kickoff Round 3

This is a great day for new and returning mentors, club team volunteers, childcare volunteers, and anyone interested in serving teen moms through YoungLives! This is a one day training to help equip you for ministering to teen moms and dads this year. You will be encouraged by and learn from local YoungLife staff, current volunteer ministry leaders, and our special guest speaker John Teter. Below is a list of volunteer needs we have for this year.

Mentors::
Walk with a teen mom or dad for one school year.  This often looks like doing things together such as going to the park, sharing your story with them or helping them register for college classes. Your mentor relationship depends on you and your mentee’s needs and can often look different from person to person. Mentors are required to attend a mentor meeting on the 2nd Thursday of each month in addition to attending club and meeting with a teen mom 2 times per month.

Childcare::

YoungLives clubs always provide childcare. Everyone eats dinner together first, and then the moms and dads drop their children off before club starts. Loving on children during monthly club events so that the moms and dads can enjoy club and hear the Gospel message.

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 Music::

Using appropriate secular and Christian music that the teens recognize and enjoy helps them to let their guard down and shows them that you value them where they are. It also pulls the group together and sets the mood and pace of club. Enthusiasm from all of the leaders in the room is the key to good club music!

Mixers/Games::

A mixer is an activity that the group does together or in team competition. It creates unity as a group and breaks down walls. The non-verbal message of a mixer is “we are all in this together. A game is a silly competition that just a couple of kids participate in while everyone else cheers them on. YoungLives clubs use the same games that Young Life clubs use, because teen moms and dads love to laugh and have fun just like any other teenager.

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Club Talk::

Young Life’s founder, Jim Rayburn, said, “It’s a sin to bore a kid with the gospel.” The purpose of the club talk is to reach the farthest-out teen mom or dad by presenting the Gospel in a compelling and understandable way. Everything else we do during club breaks down the barriers so that teens are ready to hear the club talk. The club talk is THE most important part of club.

Dinner::

Because YoungLives serves teen moms, dads and their children, we serve dinner at club. Some clubs set up a rotation of church small groups to bring in a home-cooked dinner, some have a volunteer or group of volunteers who make dinner for every club, and others have food donated by local restaurants.

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Transportation::

We have found that most of the teen moms and dads we serve don’t have reliable transportation. This means that mentors and committee members pick up one or two girls for club and take them home afterward. Anyone who provides transportation needs to complete the Young Life Driver Questionnaire on the Staff Resources Site.

Crafts::

Girls love to make things with their hands, and it creates a relaxed environment for getting to know each other and the mentors. YoungLives uses crafts (making baby items, holiday decorations, photo frames, scrapbook pages) at the end of club as a time for mentors and girls to discuss the club message.

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Guy Time::

While girls love making things with their hands, guys love physical activity. During “Guy Time”, mentors and teen dads play soccer, basketball or some other physical activity that allows them to be active and connect with other guys.  YoungLives uses guy time at the end of club as a time for mentors and guys to discuss the club message in a relaxed, non-threatening environment.

Club Support Team::

The strength of the YoungLives mission is dependent on the adults who own and support it in local communities. Ideally each club (HB, SA, CM) has a support team around it to help dream, strategize and minister effectively. Support teams network in the community, pray for the ministry, advocate, support and care for staff and leaders. Since YoungLives ministries require extra support such as childcare, meals and transportation support teams are key to the health and longevity of the ministry

Committee::

The committee is a group of local adults who care about kids and are committed to Young Life’s mission to introduce adolescents to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith.

Committee is also active in supporting the local area ministry by praying for local Young Life, by fundraising, securing administrative resources and encouraging staff. The committee typically meets monthly throughout the school year- see committee roles doc for specific roles.

Media::

The YoungLives Media Team consists of 2-3 volunteers who can assist with audio/visual needs such as playing music, displaying song lyrics, showing videos, taking pictures, etc.

Set Up/ Tear Down::

The YoungLives set-up team serves to create a safe and functional space for teen moms, dads, their children and volunteers to gather each month for club.

The YoungLives tear down team serves to clean up after club, restoring all rooms and equipment to their proper order.

Hospitality::

The YoungLives hospitality team serves to create a fun, welcoming, beautiful atmosphere each month at club. Table decorations serve to enhance the club space and help identify the theme of the evening. Greeters are welcoming and inviting to new and returning volunteers, mentors, teen moms, teen dads and their children.

Special Events::

The YoungLives special events team works together to create meaningful, fun and engaging special events for teen moms, dads and their children.

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We hope you will consider volunteering with us this new year!!

 

 

 

Childcare at camp!

This was my second year volunteering as a childcare worker at camp, both years have been the hardest and best weeks of my life. I was in the nursery with the 18 to 24 months, we were in the gym which we transformed into several different nurseries.

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The best way to describe it in one word is “crazy” babies crying all over the place, childcare workers doing anything, literally anything to keep their baby happy. On the other hand, its crazy in a really good way, being in the gym with other nursery’s you get to become a big team serving the Lord together.

It makes the week a whole lot better and a ton easier. By the end of the week you get pretty used to all the crying babies, the craziness becomes just a normal day at camp. IMG_7384

 

Seeing the moms come back and pick their babies up everyday with a new amazing story of what they got to do that day is one of the best parts about camp, watching these girls get to be teenagers again is so rad it makes all the hard work totally worth it. The last day of camp right before everyone gets on their buses to head home, we have our last club with all the babies, moms, and childcare workers. This club is where the girls have the opportunity to stand up and say so if they gave themselves to the Lord the past week. This is such an amazing way to end the week, you leave camp so full and fulfilled you forget all about how tiring and crazy the week was.

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-Camryn Bradley