2020 Love Stories

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Connor and Krista

“At leader weekend in 2014 at Lost Canyon, I happened to walk by a gal in the same Lost Canyon sweater as me. I would have called it love at first sight, but my wife would beg to differ. We chatted a few more times that weekend, but I don’t think she was expecting me to reach out via Facebook the night we got back. We chatted for a while and I eventually surprised her by showing up to her first club talk. We began hanging out, and at college weekend a few months after the leader weekend, I asked her to be my girlfriend. She250x250 KristaAndConnor2.jpg responded with, “I don’t really have an answer for you.” We made it back home that weekend and were hanging out after church when she told me out of nowhere that she had an answer for me. Krista wanted to be my girlfriend! We dated for four years, which included me joining her Young Life area just to get to spend more time with her. I proposed in July of 2017 surrounded by our friends and family. We were then married in February of 2018! Her Young Life leader who also happens to be our area director (Sean McGever), officiated the wedding and my Young Life leader (Kathy Mason) led us in communion during the wedding. We have been married a little over two years now and Young Life is still part of our love story today in many ways! We still lead in Paradise Valley, and have done program together the last two years at Lost Canyon. That’s our story of falling in love through Young Life and we love every detail!”

Chap and Dee

“Dee was a college student at ASU, and I was a newly minted area director in southern California. At age 25, I was the incoming program director while Dee, 21, was a horse wrangler at Young Life’s Woodleaf. I met her on August 5, the first night of my assignment. Dee had been there since mid-July on summer staff. At the end of those three weeks, the 250x250 Chap and Dee.jpgnight before we were leaving camp, I, um, well, I asked her to marry me! It caused quite a stir, and we had quite a journey through that fall. But as it turned out, on December 27, 1980, we were married in Everett, Washington, and it has been a beautiful ride ever since. That was 40 years ago! Throughout the years, as we’ve shared that story, the only thing we could point to is that somehow God’s grace broke through and drew us together in a mysterious and frankly crazy way. Three kids and three granddaughters later, we have both remained deeply invested in Young life in so many ways. We fondly recall the summer of 1980 at camp as perhaps the most life-altering blessing of our life together! We haven’t even been officially on staff since the early ’90s, but as with so many others, Young Life has been a part of our DNA our entire lives. We share with Young Life staff at new staff training each year about how God has molded and shaped us by His Spirit in and through our Young Life roots. We counsel them, 'Only let yourself be enticed by romance while at camp if you’re positive God wants you to get married within the next five months!’”​

Cort and Joan 

“Our love story began because the Good Lord gave my wife a miraculous encounter at Malibu which lead to our marriage. My wife, Joan, started the first two Young Life clubs in Northern Virginia. One with 150 members, and another with 250 members while which she worked full time at the World Bank. Fast forward a couple of years when Joan took club kids to Malibu. While there, a friend showed Joan a two-page article in the Washington Post on 250x250CortAndJoan3.jpg
the success of my company. After Joan read it, the Lord said to her, “This is the man that I want you to marry.” The problem was that picture of me was not very flattering. Needless to say, Joan was not very happy, roaming the hills asking God, “Is this best that you can do?” But Joan was obedient, and called my company as she was working for Scott Paper at the time and they needed some marketing done. When she flew to Washington D.C. and met with a vice president of Marketing, my employee said, “You might want to take that account over” because he said she is really beautiful. The next time Joan flew down, we met on my boat, the “Cortship” (My name is Cort)! Fast forward to when we got married, Joan had told me about Young Life and the fact that they needed a camp in the East. I had just brought my company public, and Joan suggested I visit a camp in Colorado to see what a Young Life camp was all about. When we flew into Salida, Colorado, in our Lear jet, there were hundreds of people to greet us, including newspaper reporters and a television camera. It seemed that they had extended the runway to accommodate jets 18 months ago and ours was the first jet to land. Needless to say, I loved what I saw at the Young Life camp, especially the Say-So. I asked to see the plans they had for the new camp in Saranac Lake, New York. After praying about it, the Lord said that I should buy that camp and give it to Young Life. Now 280,000 kids have gone to Saranac camp in 50 years, many have accepted the Lord, and thousands have gone into full-time Christian service. My only regret is that I didn’t buy three camps! Joan and I celebrated our 51st wedding anniversary this year, and are even happier now than when we first got married!”​

250x250 Stephen and Jane.jpgStephen and Jane

“I was already a Young Life Leader in Huntsville in the late ’80s, and I went to check out the
NEW Young Life leader training class because my friend was a part of the class. When I saw Jane, I asked my friend about her, and he told me she was too old for me (she is four years older than me). I said, ‘We’ll see.’ We started a friendship and never really dated. We ended up getting engaged in a deer stand three years later (that is the VERY short story), and we have been happily married now for over 26 years.”​

John and Christina

My wife Christina and I each came to know Jesus through our Young Life leaders, and were volunteer leaders in collegeChristina and I first met in the Timber Wolf Lake kitchen. I was 250x250 JohnAndChristina.jpg
newly on property staff, and she was dropping off her sister, who was a summer long intern. Christina accepted a job in Guest Services a few months after I came on property staff in 2009! We spent nearly every day at camp, and most nights together. We dated for six 
months before we got engaged on the ridge overlooking Wilderness Ranch. We were then engaged for four months before we got married on the club stage at Timber Wolf Ridge by someone on Young Life staffWe’ve been married 10 years, and our third child is due this Tuesday! Frankie Jane is 6, TJ is 2, and our third will be named Rosie. I’m in my 12th year on staff now, and we’re helping grow new ministry in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with our three kiddos. We’re definitely proponents of meeting your spouse at Young Life!”

Craig and Katie

“In the summer of 2005, I was an intern in Anchorage, Alaska, and on assignment at Malibu as a work crew boss. Katie was a summer intern driving the boats and in charge of landscaping. We met on the dock as I was hanging with my work crew and she pulled up to off-load gear. We started talking for a few minutes and I knew I liked her right away. But with camp rules and all, I simply asked her for ice cream. The morning of her last day at camp as 250x250CraigAndKatie1.jpg
she was finishing breakfast, I came up to her with a pencil and the only thing I could find to write on, my Max Lucado devotional. She gave me her mailing address in Minnesota, and for almost a year we wrote letters from Alaska to Minnesota and back. I finally had the guts to write and tell her that I wanted to be more than friends. Then she emailed. All it said was, "Can we talk ...?" I was pretty sure that was the end of it, but it wasn't. We had a great conversation and continued to write but also talk occasionally. Phone calls ended when she headed back to Malibu for another summer intern job, so we were back to letters. When she returned, we decided it was time to meet up again. I flew to Seattle to meet her since she was coming in from Malibu to get her passport material ready for a mission trip she was going on. We fell in love in Seattle, and a few months later she moved to Alaska to live with friends of mine so we could be near each other! That spring we headed to a work weekend at Malibu. On the plane flight she confessed that she thought I was going to propose. In what can hardly be categorized as a sin, I told her the ring had not arrived in time. (I had the ring for over a month.) Her friends, who were in on the planning, set it all up. They brought her to her favorite spot, the disc golf course area just beyond the flag poles. Then they made excuses so I could come walking out from the behind the trees all suited up. After I asked and she said yes, her friends took us to a balcony above the lodge, and we ate our first meal as a newly engaged couple overlooking the very spot we had first met. Now 12 years later, we are expecting baby number six! She works in children's ministry at our church, and I work full time in youth ministry for the Catholic Diocese of Baltimore as well as part time for Young Life as the associate director of Young Life Catholic Relations. We love our story!”