This may just look like a random photo but when you’re knee deep into YoungLives, you begin to see the stories unfolding. Stories that have stories of their own. And this photo, though random at first glance actually tells so many stories.
There’s a few girls and their little ones that are in this photo that are alumni moms – those that have graduated from high school. Moms that are raising up toddlers now. They are busy moms figuring out next steps, doing their best to raise their little ones with patience, and love, and manners, and security. They have dreams for themselves and dreams for their little ones. They are not too different then many reading this, in their hopes for their futures, though their obstacles are most likely bigger than ours. I admire them so much for their strength and for their willingness to keep pushing forward. It’s super sweet that on occasion, when their schedule allows, they come back to see us and help out. They are friends of ours and I love seeing them in this photo all together.
One of the alumni, Jayanna (seated on the floor in the grey sweater), has come back to YoungLives full force – she joined the team at Summer Camp as a Junior Leader, she shares encouragement with the young moms. She attends both Santa Ana and Huntington Beach Clubs helping out in anyway she can – eager to give back. She will tell you that YoungLives has really impacted her life and that’s why she wants to give back, but that is a two way street because YoungLives is really impacted by her as well.
Right in the middle of the photo, wearing the white kimono, is Laurie Bradley, Huntington Beach Club Coordinator. She keeps things moving along on club nights from set up to tear down. She spends a good deal of time hugging volunteers, teens, and the babies. She is one of those that checks in with people, making sure they are okay. Asking questions and really listening. She loves the Lord like no other and it can’t help but to reveal itself. She plays a part in so many of the stories of YoungLives.
On the right in the photo, I see the back of Keila wearing the gold color top. Her story about volunteering was featured on the blog in November…you should check it out (here) because it is pretty awesome.
Just to the right of Keila is her friend that is expecting any day now. A new YoungLives baby on the way…the story continues.
In the back of the photo (far right) – a young mom and dad and their little one. They are such a sweet family. This is what they shared recently, “We have both faced many challenges in our lives and we still do everyday. We have learned that YoungLives is always there for us teen parents. We both hope to finish high school and go to college to begin careers for our family. Thank you for everything YoungLives. We really cannot explain how grateful we are for this program.”