Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Serving Jesus Is The Best - Zach's Story

Zachary started coming to our Capernaum club in 2015 and loved it, but we realized quickly that he knew Jesus and needed a place to grow in his faith, something his family had not found anywhere! 

He started serving in club, was a prayer warrior and even lead another Capernaum friend to Christ in the backseat of the van after helping load him in his wheelchair en route to club. His first round on work crew in 2016 at Lost Canyon was life changing for him and gave new vision to all that Zach could do. Not only did he serve on work crew but he also lead work crew with his example of disciplined time in the Word daily. 

Zachary’s parents moved to Lithuania as missionaries and knew it would be very difficult for him to build a life or community and have ministry opportunities like he did at home. Zach moved in with his Young Life leaders’ family and became ‘uncle Zach’ just over a year ago.  

Zach continues to set an example by his time in the Word each morning and his heart to serve others. Zachary announced at his annual educational planning meeting that his goal is to be a pastor or leader and help kids, especially those with disabilities know Jesus. 

When he heard about the last minute need for more YoungLives childcare workers at Woodleaf, he prayed about it and came back with this “My parents are missionaries in Lithuania and I am too at Woodleaf. YLives moms need Jesus like my mom did before she met my (new) dad, when she was single it was hard." So Zach took off a week of work from his job as a bagger at the local grocery
store, paid his way (a month’s salary) and served with everything he had.

He’s had lots of practice with kids and babies are his specialty, so he was assigned a 13 month old, Giovanni. They spent 10-12 hours/day together. No complaints, just smiles, endless patience and encouraging words for the whole childcare team from Zach. If you ask Zach about the best part of his summer, its hard to choose between the fellowship and sharing he experienced at Lost Canyon on work crew again and the incredible experience of seeing Giovanni’s mom meet Christ, but the say-so topped it all.  

He knows that just like his life was forever changed by his mom’s courageous decision to follow Christ at all costs, this baby’s life will be too! Zach is saving money so he can pay his way and a YoungLives girls’ way next summer. “Serving Jesus is the best, helping others know him is my dream." In Young Life, discipleship happens in the beauty and diversity of all of us together.

Friday, October 12, 2018


Thank you Isaiah from Highland Park, TX for this blog!

For me YL Capernaum has always given me so much more than I could ever give to it. It has been a constant theme throughout my entire time being a part of this ministry. Every time I feel like I can pat myself on the back for doing something, God swoops in and blows me away with the way he works through these kids.

As followers of Christ we strive every day to be like him, to live the way he lives. We do that to be changed by Christ, to bear the fruits that he describes. We hope that through our ministry we can plant seeds in others; in hopes to one day see those seeds, through the work of the Lord, bear fruit in those individuals.

When I think of Capernaum I think of joy. The unconditional joy I see in our friends has always kept me coming back. No matter what my work schedule looked like I could never miss club, campaigners or any camp trip. The joy our friends display is infectious and I never wanted to miss a minute of it. When I think joy, my friend Aidan instantly jumps into my head. He is the happiest person I have been around, watching him react to seeing his friends or leaders arrive at club is amazing. I don’t care what you are going through, this kid’s smile is the cure all; the joy he puts on display for all our leaders and friends is unforgettable. I can vividly remember watching Aidan get unhooked after a trip down the zip line at Carolina Point. As soon as he touched the ground he took off and jumped into my arms smiling and laughing the whole time. It was all our group talked about for the next few days.

Aidan is one amazing kid but there are many other Capernaum kids I have met in my area, during regional events and at camp that show that same joy I get to see when I spend time with Aidan. Walking through camp properties and watching our friends and friends from other areas swim, zip line, play games, and spend time with their leaders, you get to see a joy that is hard to compare to anything else.

I feel like sometimes we get that “what’s next” mentality. We do something once and we want to move onto the next thing. We can miss the joy that comes from being in the moment. Enjoying the current time and place we are in is something our friends excel at! Whatever they do they do it to the fullest, and in that moment it’s the only thing they are concerned about. By doing that, I think our friends experience a joy we may miss.

What if we shared and heard the Gospel with the joy our friends show? What if we displayed the same joy our friends do when we come to work whether it’s Monday or Friday? What if we showed the same joy our friends show when they hear “Good Good Father” for the first time…and the hundredth time? What if, what if we showed the joy our friends show in every single thing we do? Let’s have the joy of the Lord fill us up like he fills up our friends.

The Lord has used being a part of this ministry to teach me so much. He has showed me so much through our friends. I did Capernaum with the idea that I was going to help kids, I never thought they were going to help me more than I could ever imagine.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Sergio and Seth

I first met Sergio at Wilderness Ranch.  We were about to embark on a week long adventure in the mountains of Colorado.  I was blown away by his caring heart, how genuine he was and by how much he trusted his leader.  Sergio and Derek had a deep, rich friendship; so much so that it felt like I was stepping into a holy space every time I was with them throughout the week.  After Sergio conquered so many firsts in those mountains, Derek and I began talking about what it would look like for Sergio to serve on work crew.  This summer, he spent a month at SharpTop Cove on the outdoor crew; while Derek was serving as a Head Leader.   Enjoy this short video of Sergio and his coach Seth sharing about their time.  

It’s not too early to start thinking about one of your friends serving on work crew or summer staff this coming summer!  If you’re interested in learning more, contact your divisional coordinator.

Friday, October 5, 2018

The Greatest Showman Capernaum Club

Who doesn’t love The Greatest Showman? Who doesn’t love a great sing-a-long? Who doesn’t love Capernaum club?

Go ahead and do your friends a favor and just combine all three of those for one of the most fun nights EVER!

Thanks South Tampa! We hope y’all had a blast singing your hearts out!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Club Idea: Senior Citizens Club

Encourage costumes for this club!

Bingo: Who doesn’t love a fun simple game of bingo?!

Dance Thru The Ages Dance Party

Panty hose bowling: Because we all know grandma needs her panty hose! Place a tennis ball in the open end of panty hose (large size works best). Set up water bottles on the floor. With two players at once see who can knock down the most bottles using only the ball at the end of their hose.

Denture talk: Use the mouthpieces from “Watch Ya’ Mouth” and call them dentures. You can use the phrases in the game or create your own. Players have to get the audience to guess what they are saying!

Dance party to an “old” song such as Dancing Queen
As I am

Friday, September 28, 2018

Front Row Seat

There is nothing like being in the front row seat watching Jesus pursue one of His kids. Being a part of that journey with Elena from campus visits, hangouts, club and this summer for a second camp trip was more than I ever imagined. God designed Elena with all sorts of fascinating layers but one thing I've learned is that she is an external processor but doesn't have many people in her life willing to listen to her many words. So from the moment she got on the bus to go to camp, we got to listen to all the ways she is processing Jesus’ love through the camp experience.

The first year Elena came to camp, there was absolute shock about the love, acceptance and joy she
began to see and hear, but this summer, she had a name to attribute all that love to. In the painful weeks of change she was experiencing in her life this past spring, she was crying out to Jesus and He provided the grace and comfort she needed. This summer, however, she was not afraid to ask the deep questions about faith that often scare us. Elena asked eager questions about growing in Jesus even though her family doesn't believe. "You're telling me that Jesus is listening to all of us all the time and we don't have to have all the perfect words?! That's so amazing about God!!" Her excitement could hardly be contained in her body. On the way home from an incredible week, Elena declared as much as she would miss camp that she couldn't believe how lucky she was to go home with her God and her friends. "I have friendship for the first time with people willing to stick by me even when things are hard and we disagree. I think they are extra special because they love Jesus too."

I could go on forever about how special it is to see Elena fall in love with her Savior and consider myself to be one of the lucky ones who walks alongside her.

-Jessie Hynes, Elena’s friend
….and Veteran Capernaum Volunteer Team Leader in Santa Barbara, CA

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Christmas All Fall Long

We often get to experience Christmas in July when we go to camp. We get Christmas in December, of course. But how about Christmas all fall long?! Yes, you heard us correctly! Our friends in Little Rock, AR are having Christmas club all semester long! They are focusing on the story of Jesus’ birth this semester, so thought they’d celebrate his birthday all fall long! What a fun way to keep the semester festive! You can see their club plans here!

A quick overview….

Club 1:  Christmas in Hawaii
Club 2:  Reindeer Club
Club 3:  Flannel Club
Club 4:  Candy Club
Club 5: Ice Club
Club 6: Christmas Karaoke
Club 7: Milk and Cookies Club
Club 8: Christmas Potluck

Planning to celebrate Christmas all semester long?! Send us your photos! We’d love to see you and your friends!