July 2018

JulyStoryPhoto18.jpgBubba’s toes gripped the edge of the high dive as he cinched his life jacket one more time. For the past 20 minutes, the big kid from the city had become the focal point of the entire camp. Four hundred high school kids from up and down the West Coast were chanting his name, from the balconies, the boardwalks, and all around the pool. It was free time, but word had spread, and kids had come from all corners of the camp to see Bubba.

Bubba hated both heights and water, so who knows what compelled him to climb the ladder and walk out onto the board. It didn’t really matter. All that mattered in the moment was that every kid watching understood what it was like to be Bubba. Every kid knew what it was like to stand alone in the face of fear, toe the thin edge of faith, and wonder what might happen if they jumped.

Bubba, like many kids at camp this summer, had suffered tremendous heartbreak and rejection. Never had he been surrounded by friends (or family) who were cheering for his success. Those 20 minutes on the high dive were nothing like his previous 16 years on the ground in his tough-luck neighborhood at home.

Bubba did jump, by the way, and the crowd went wild, but this story is still a cliffhanger in progress. As I write, Bubba is still at camp, sitting in club each night, hearing the good news about the God who loves him. Before the end of the week, Bubba’s leader will ask him if he is ready to take another flying leap of faith. Will Bubba trust Jesus? Will the great cloud of witnesses go wild? I pray that it is so.

Thank you for supporting this mission. Thank you for giving kids like Bubba the chance to toe the thin edge of faith in Jesus Christ. Please join me in praying that countless kids like him will step into the open arms of the Savior this summer. It is a privilege to watch, wait and pray with you for kids like Bubba in Young Life.

In Christ for all kids,

Newton F. Crenshaw