Bob and Claudia Mitchell: Where Are They Now?

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I recently had the honor of visiting with Bob and Claudia Mitchell at their home in Monument, Colorado, where they have lived for 50 years. As we launch our first edition of “The Young Life Informer,” and our first “Where are they now?” article, it is only fitting that we begin with two people whom most every former staff person would know and deeply appreciate.

 

The Informer: “How long did you serve on Young Life staff, and what roles did you serve in?”

Bob and Claudia: We served on staff for 40 years, beginning in 1950 and ending in 1990. During that time, we served in most every role possible - area director, regional director, president, you name it.

The Informer: “How did serving on Young Life staff impact or shape you?”

Bob and Claudia: We would have to say that as much as we love the mission of Young Life and were impacted by it, we were first impacted by Jim Rayburn and his passion for the gospel. I [Bob] had the privilege of sitting at Jim’s bedside as he passed away. During this momentous event, Jim turned to me and said “Mitch, don’t ever let them stop talking about Jesus.” The Christology of Young Life has truly been one of the greatest gifts to us, and to the world.

The Informer: “What was one of your most memorable experiences from your time on staff?”

Bob and Claudia: Oh, there are so many! One that comes to mind that we are especially proud of dates back to 1966 when we were a part of finding and acquiring Woodleaf. In fact, we had the privilege of attending a Woodleaf, “For the next 50 years” event just a few months ago, and we were so honored to hear that one of the new dorms will be named “Mitch’s Lookout.”

The Informer: “Would you have any words for both current and former Young Life staff today?”

Bob and Claudia: To our former staff friends, we would say to never forget that nothing is more important in all of human history than the Gospel. It is the essence of our mission, but much deeper than that; it gives reason for living and hoping. Keep seeking and serving Jesus. Do what He tells you.

To those currently serving on Young Life staff, do so out of an intimacy with Jesus. This is not a program, it flows out of the heart.

The Informer: “Are you involved with Young Life today? If so, how?”

Bob and Claudia: Yes, we continue to serve in several ways. We have the privilege of serving as chaplains for two Young Life regions (Front Range and Hawaii/NorCal), and we are blessed to be involved with some international Young Life work as well. Bob also continues to write, speak and teach a bit; his recent book, Letters to a Young Life Leader, has received a great response.

The Informer: “OK, last question, You're standing in an airport, or sitting in a park, and you see or hear the name ‘Young Life.' What are some of the first words that come to mind?”

Bob and Claudia: Kids! Exciting! Growth! The breadth of the gospel!