February 2019

A note came across my desk recently that I thought you might like to read. Here is how it started:

“My Young Life leader called me last night. He had no particular reason; I think he was just checking in and doing some contact work.

“We talked for about 45 minutes, catching up on how my family and his family are doing. He encouraged my faith, spoke wisdom into my life and reminded me how loved I am by him and by my Heavenly Father.

“It was an uplifting time; it was hilariously funny, and it was good to remember how much God loves me. By the way, I am 59 years old. My Young Life leader is 76.”

I would like to take a survey of 59-year-olds across the country and ask, “How would you like to have a friend who loved you like the Young Life leader in this story?” I cannot imagine anyone who would say, “No thanks. I’m good.”

We all long for someone who will check in on us for “no particular reason” — except that they love us. We all long for someone who will walk the long road of life with us with wisdom and good humor. We all long for a friend who looks like Jesus.

The “kid” in this story has been a Young Life leader now for three decades. He wrote, “I can proudly say that I am a leader who does skits, gives talks, goes to camp, sleeps on a bunk bed and is — thankfully — never allowed to lead songs. If you think you are too old to be a leader, you are radically wrong!” That’s what a 59-year-old sounds like who has been loved well by a leader for more than 40 years.

Thank you for supporting this mission. Thank you for sending leaders wide to the world and deep into kids’ lives for as long as the Lord allows. It is a privilege to partner with you in Young Life.

In Christ for all kids,

Newton F. Crenshaw