There are a multitude of milestones in our lives and society tells us that they are supposed to come in a particular order… but life does not always work out in the order that we envision, especially if you find yourself in the position of a YoungLives parent. The teens that come through the doors of the YoungLives clubs have found many of their milestones all out of order; but, we know they are still worthy of the high school experiences such as prom.
The prom of their dreams is exactly what many of our participants got, when teen parents from Santa Ana, Huntington Beach, and Costa Mesa areas came dressed to impress and danced the night away. On Friday, June 1 of 2018, teen parents got to safely drop their children off with childcare volunteers (without whom none of our clubs would be possible) and were chauffeured by golf cart to the Halecrest Clubhouse in Costa Mesa. As they entered, they chose a key on a gold chain with a word which spoke to them… HOPE, LOVE, PEACE, STRONG, ENOUGH, FREEDOM, COURAGE.
The room was decorated beautifully and was brought to life in different shades of gold, for the theme, “All That Glitters is Gold”. Big gold 2 – 0 – 1 – 8 balloons commemorated the event and vases with roses and jewels adorned the center of every table. Once everyone got settled, the dinner buffet opened and guests were treated to an assortment of pastas and salads from Corner Bakery. The dinner was topped off with a variety of homemade desserts, which are still making my mouth water! The festivities were rounded out with professional pictures and of course a live DJ who for sure got the party started.
The highlight of the evening came directly in the middle as Myrna Bittar, our fearless leader, encouraged the teens and mentors with a moving talk. She reminded the parents of all that they had accomplished over the last year and congratulated them on overcoming obstacles. Graduates were crowned prom queens and king with sashes and tiaras and given their proper applause. She encouraged all of the parents to continue to chase their dreams and to never lose sight of the gifts which they have been given. She gave specific examples of how God blesses us and how Jesus explained those blessings through the Beatitudes. She drew the entire evening back to the words on their keys and reminded everyone that these words are not only blessings, but also are promises: because of God we have HOPE, because of God we have PEACE, because of God we have FREEDOM, because of God we have COURAGE, because of God we are STRONG, because of God we are ENOUGH, and because of God we are LOVED.
There was so much to be grateful for that night and the love was seriously flowing. Because of the childcare volunteers the parents got to enjoy the evening as teenagers and because of the mentors many of them got rides and hugs and got to feel God’s love. Because of our dinner helpers all of the bellies were full and because of the decorations our senses were on overload. Because of the DJ our feet hurt and because of the photographer memories were captured forever. But most importantly, because the young women and men who participate with YoungLives accepted the challenge of becoming parents and weren’t afraid to ask for help, YoungLives gets to do what they do and share God’s love through amazing events such as Prom.
Please be praying for the Grads who will be tackling all new challenges this coming year. Please be praying for the moms and babies who will be going to camp in July. Please be praying for the mentors who are waiting to be called by God to attend camp with the record breaking number of girls. Please be praying for our summer activities which are being offered each month. Please be praying on how you can become part of this amazing ministry and joint us next Fall when we start it all over again.