The Tentacles of Young Life

From the Winter 2010 issue of Relationships magazine.

Recently, during a "meet and greet" time at church, I met an older gentleman named Jim. Jim noticed my Young Life shirt and said, "Young Life, oooooh!" This is not uncommon as people either know about Young Life, or they think I'm a life insurance salesman. I didn't question his response, I just moved on to the next person to meet and greet.

At the end of the service, as I was gathering my things to leave, Jim leaned in close to me and said, "I don't know what your involvement with Young Life is, but you are involved, correct?" I said that I was. Jim went on to tell me that he and his wife were married 20 years and raising four kids without God in their family. Then, Young Life got ahold of two of his kids when they hit high school, and they eventually gave their lives to Jesus. After that, his other two kids accepted Christ and not too much longer after that, he and his wife also accepted Christ. With a proud look on his face, Jim added that their kids are fully grown and he is thrilled that his grandchildren are being raised in homes that love and honor God.

He looked at me with all seriousness and reverence as he said, "Young Life's tentacles are long and far-reaching. I just thought you needed to hear that. Don't give up. Don't quit!"

As I thanked this man with tears welling up in my eyes, I knew God sent Jim to give me that pep talk, with our upcoming camp trip to Woodleaf (one of Young Life's camps in California) fast approaching. We continue to pray that the "tentacles" of God's love and forgiveness will wrap around these kids as well as their families at home as the Lord's "faithfulness continues through all generations."