Huntington Beach Club nights are where it all started eight years ago. Gathering together teen moms, teen dads, their babies, and a group of volunteers to get to know each other, share a meal together, hear an encouraging word – a message of hope. This last Thursday, eight years later was not much different than those first nights. Of course, the high school aged parents have changed and we have new volunteers (and some of those original volunteers still serving with the ministry as well!!!!), but for the most part not much has changed. I don’t say this in a negative way. It’s in the BEST way. The simplicity, consistency and comfortability of YoungLives is what keeps it going…what keeps it authentic….what keeps it sweet.
The night begins with volunteers coming in to set up, cook the meal, pray for the evening. Tables and chairs get set up, childcare rooms get stocked with supplies, snacks, and bubbles, the decor team comes in to add special touches, the food team has a complete healthy & tasty meal hot and ready to serve, there are donations of baby clothing, diapers, and accessories all spread out, and the craft room is set and ready. Then we wait for the mentors to arrive with the teens and little ones. A smaller group of teen parents than usual arrived. BUT, that is okay. We never really know how many will show up…it definitely ebbs and flows. Sometimes there’s sickness, or job schedules, or family things.
We don’t always know. At times it may seem like A LOT of work goes into the evening “for just a few”. And at times it may seem like we are serving each other…the volunteers serving the volunteers. But I’m reminded & encouraged with this…the Lord would leave 99 behind to reach just one. So, though only a small group were there last Thursday night…the Lord knew those kids needed to know they are worth “it”. All of it.
~Colleen, Area Office Admin