Tuesday, May 16, 2017

YL Mozambique - Sitoe’s Story “Persistence, Courage and Faith”

Beira, Mozambique is a port city on the Indian Ocean. The site of a rebel stronghold during the 16 year civil war which ended in 1992, there are still reminders of that conflict throughout the city, including the run down Grande Hotel, formerly a place where Frank Sinatra sang and now home to
over 1,000 families who live without electricity, running water or walls. Despite such conditions, people rise up in hope. Sitoe Cesar Bira is one example. A visually impaired young man in his 20s, Sitoe is an example to others of persistence, courage and faith in spite of adversity. When he was 12, he was asked to leave school due to severe sight issues. Four years later, he applied and was accepted at the Visually Impaired Institute in Beira, Mozambique where he learned Braille and continued his studies. There, he completed high school with honors!

Sitoe was also a Young Life kid. A few Young Life leaders in Beira met Sitoe while doing contact work at the school. They had already heard about him because other students at the School for the Visually Impaired admired Sitoe for his intelligence and his efforts to reach his goals in spite of his circumstances. The YL leaders invited Sitoe to club where they got to know him, became friends with him, and learned about his hope of going to college. At Young Life, Sitoe learned about Jesus, who provides hope and freedom in difficult circumstances. Sitoe claimed that promise and accepted Jesus as His Savior.

Because of his academic record and his determination to continue his education, he applied for and received a scholarship to the Alberto Chipande Institute of Science and Technology where he worked hard and graduated with degrees in political science and diplomacy. His aim was to do an internship for a foreign embassy and applied to several in Mozambique but was turned down. Sitoe didn’t give up even though he received many rejections. His Young Life leaders came alongside him during this
time and encouraged him to trust the Lord for resources and the strength to overcome his physical limitations. Sitoe’s persistence, courage and faith finally paid off. The Australian Embassy in Mozambique offered him a scholarship to take post-graduate diplomacy courses at an Australian university. His classes begin this February.

Sitoe has been able to rise above his challenges because he knows that with God, all things are possible. To Him be the glory. 

Will you join us in praying for Sitoe and the Young Life ministry in Beira?  

Friday, May 12, 2017

YL Forward - Guest Post by Pam Harmon

Are you as excited as I am about YL Forward?
YL Capernaum is positioned to serve and lead as we go Deeper In Christ through discipleship; go Together as we build a diverse, global team; go for more Innovation as we constantly improve the way we reach the next community with the gospel; and go for more Growth as God calls us to expand God’s kingdom in schools, in communities, in cities - throughout the U.S. and around the world.

As we read Young Life’s values moving Forward, let’s listen to the ways in which we have the opportunity to lead and serve within our context:

1. The Gospel - Living according to and communicating the whole gospel of Jesus Christ. We have the opportunity to communicate the good news of Jesus’ extravagant love for our friends through our actions and our words!

2. Scripture - Acting under the authority of Scripture and relying on the Holy Spirit to empower our ministry. Let’s be sure we are first spending time in God’s Word and praying for the power of the Holy Spirit before we try to do any “ministry” on our own.

3. All Kids - Reaching adolescents of every ability and all economic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds through innovative approaches. Doesn’t this make your heart sing? All Kids! Every ability, all economic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds! Where is God calling you to be innovative in the next year? Where are you going to learn that is outside your comfort zone?

4. Ecumenical - Collaborating with followers of Christ from various traditions and local churches worldwide. Our friends and their families must have the opportunity to be involved in local churches for life long community and spiritual development. Many many churches are missing an important part of the body. We have the opportunity to be collaborators with other organizations and churches in our communities.

5. Diversity - Welcoming those whom God calls to our mission - men and women of all ethnicities and abilities who are committed to the common purpose of introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith. Let’s be creative about building a pipeline of service opportunities for our friends within Young Life. Let’s spur one another on in this.

6. Health - Encouraging our staff and volunteers in their personal and spiritual health so we may minister our of a consistent and growing relationship with Christ and His followers. We want to be in this mission long term; we must take care of ourselves and our relationship with Jesus and serve out of the overflow and abundance of our relationship with Him.

7. Stewardship - Observing the highest standards of stewardship of all the resources placed in our trust. We are so blessed with precious friends, families, volunteer leaders, staff, funds, reputations, etc, etc. Let us treat these resources with the utmost honor.

What a gift to enter in to the Forward movement knowing that we have a clear set of values that are so consistent with who we want to be throughout the mission of Young Life. All Kids AND Diversity in Leadership as we introduce adolescents to Jesus Christ and encourage them to grow in their faith!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Spring Mixer Idea

Need a fun spring mixer? Try these great “Would You Rather” questions…
Thanks to Rachel Lynette - www.rachel-lynette.com

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Neighborhood Outreach Camps in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Bukavu is a city in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on the border of Rwanda. Young Life began in Bukavu in 2007 with 10 leaders. Today, there are more than 200 leaders and almost 5,000 kids, some of whom have physical disabilities. Here are two of their stories.

“Polepole” (“Slowly slowly” in Swahili) has a physical disability and has been rejected by peers throughout his life. Polepole never thought that someone could be interested in him until he met his Young Life leader Jack. Jack got to know Polepole and invited him to Young Life club and then to
camp. At camp, Polepole understood for the first time that Jesus loves him despite his physical limitations. He also made a lot of new friends. At the end of camp, he said yes to Jesus and to a new life in Christ.

David is from a village near Bukavu and has a physical impairment which keeps him isolated and without friends. He became depressed and rejected God because he was so unhappy being shunned by others. A Young Life leader met David and invited him to camp where he was amazed to meet a group of friends who loved him for who he was. During the message at camp, the speaker told how Jesus loves everyone for who they are regardless of their circumstances and that He came so that we may have abundant life. This touched David’s heart as he realized the speaker’s message about Jesus was for him and accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior.

We are so grateful for the ministry that is happening in the DRC. Will you join us in praying for Polepole, David and our Capernaum ministry in the DRC?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Shana's Story: Serving others, Growing close to Christ

Last weekend Shana and her leader went to Woodleaf YL Camp to serve on Work Crew in the pits where they washed dishes for Wyldlife Weekend (camp for middle schoolers). Shana is 19 and is energetic, active, funny, and admittedly a little sassy. She went to Woodleaf as a camper and went to YL Adventures Santa Cruz (discipleship camp) last year, so it is perfect timing for her to move into new roles as she is growing in her faith. Shana and her leader completed her work crew application together, signed up to go on the work crew weekend together, and then had a blast serving together. Shana encouraged the whole work crew while she volunteered with them. She and her leader put all
the clean silverware away and returned empty dish racks to their home in the kitchen after each meal. It was a great way for Shana to serve the camp. It was tiring but never did she complain. She just kept dancing!

By the end of the weekend everyone was waiting to learn a dance from Shana because anywhere there was music playing you could find Shana dancing. Before we left the work crew coordinator looked at Shana and said, "You ready to teach us a dance?" Shana without hesitation said, "YES!" She went immediately to the front of the room and said to the work crew, "Everybody, stand up!" The crowd stood and Shana proceeded to teach side steps, clapping to the beat, and turn moves. The whole group, while exhausted, loved Shana's dance - which thankfully was only 90 seconds long. We all left encouraged and with a bit of an energy boost for our drives home.

Work crew weekend was a wonderful way for Shana and her leader to serve students, just like she had been served as a camper, and she grew closer to Christ in the process.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Recently, an area in Northern Virginia took a really deep look at what discipleship might mean for their area. They were encouraged and challenged by the process. We wanted to share what they came up with…

We call the kids that are participating in Capernaum our friends, but are they really? Are we developing friendships with them in a way that is reflective of the gospel? Or do we treat our
relationships with them more like work?

John 15:13-17
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his masters’ business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I have learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit- fruit that will last- and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.”

If they are true friends, than they are disciples…
  • Each one reach one…challenge each leader to go deeper with one Capernaum friend.
  • Be intentional and creative in helping our friends process the gospel.
  • Find and develop leadership roles at club.
  • After second time of camp we pushing kids towards work crew or summer staff.
  • Planning a discipleship camp trip.

Don’t assume that where they are at is where they will stay… keep asking: “What’s next?”.

How do you view your friends in Capernaum? Are you peers walking alongside of each other in a journey of growing in your faith together? Are you dreaming big for your friends and praying for God’s wisdom?

Have some great thoughts on discipleship with your friends? We’d love to see them!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Creative Ways of Telling Mark 2

Our friends in the West Valley used this incredibly creative idea to help tell the story of Mark 2 in their club recently. The basis that they worked off of was an idea that they found on Pinterest
  • Make the object but also prepare parts so that each person in your club can make their own and follow along with the story
  • Give everyone a handout with Mark 2 on it and how to shape their paper in order to best follow along
  • Walk everyone through which pieces to attach and how to use the brackets to attach
  • Vary the conclusion/application from the video, but still use video as an engaging and interesting way to bring the Gospel to life
  • Pass out bookmarks to everyone and have them write their name on the bookmark as a reminder of what was talked about in club
Download the sheets that we used:
Jesus Gives New Life

Thanks for trying something new and for sharing it with us West Valley YL!

If you’ve done something new to help your friends engage in the gospel, please send it our way!