August 2018

Dear Friend,
There is a moment in the life of Moses where the past becomes prologue for the gospel. Moses flees to the desert, chased by guilt and shame. Someone is waiting in the wilderness for Moses, however. A priest named Jethro embraces Moses, welcomes him into his family and eventually returns him to his people with a blessing. Jethro is a beautiful reflection of our Great High Priest who continues to welcome the broken and the fallen with open arms.

Emily understands this story, perhaps more than most. Emily was a vibrant leader, a three-sport athlete who served in student government at her high school. She was also a typical teenager. “My freshman year,” Emily said, “I started to push the limits.” By the beginning of her junior year, Emily was pregnant and wandering in her own wilderness at an alternative high school for teen moms.

“I was scared about not going to regular school,” she said, “and not being able to do sports, because that was where my identity was.” There was someone waiting in the wilderness for Emily, however. Karen, a YoungLives leader, was teaching parenting classes at the school. “I could see Jesus in her and how much she loved me,” Emily said. “That is what got my attention.”

Today, Emily is the mother of Brooklyn, an almost 3-year-old with bright eyes, big confidence and carefree curls — and Karen is her Jethro. Last summer, Karen overcame every obstacle to send Emily to Young Life’s Student Leadership Project for 10 days of in-depth discipleship. In June, Emily became the first teen mom to serve on summer staff at camp. This fall, Emily will begin serving on student staff as she attends college. Karen has embraced Emily, welcomed her into God’s family, and now launched her on a mission of sharing Jesus with teen moms.

Thank you for supporting Young Life. We all need a friend like Jethro who shows us the face of Jesus as we flee our guilt and shame. That is what Young Life leaders do every day. Thank you for putting leaders like Karen in the lives of countless kids. 

In Christ for all kids,

Newton F. Crenshaw