June 2018

Dear Friend,

Chris was born to parents who sought spiritual enlightenment through self-realization and drug use. Like many others of the era, their actions betrayed their ideals as drug use turned to addiction.

It was the early 1970s, and Chris’ father was an active member of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love. Authorities called this group “the hippie mafia,” an organization that trafficked drugs including “Orange Sunshine,” or LSD. Chris was steeped in these and many other confusing messages growing up, but there were at least two statements that he heard loud and clear.

“When my father left us,” Chris said, “I got the message that I was not worth sticking around for. When my new stepfather would get violent with us, I got the message that I was not worth protecting.”

Chris was a freshman in high school before he found his first real reason to question his core convictions about his worth. “When I was 14,” Chris said, “I met some Young Life leaders who treated me in a way that made me want to trust them. They cared for me, and so I listened to what they had to say.” 

That summer, Chris pulled one of his leaders aside and said, “I’m ready to trust Jesus.” Today, Chris is married, has three children, and is still following in his leaders’ footsteps. “My leaders went through life with me. The discipleship never ended. They showed me Christ and His Church, and I’m still with Him.”

There is much more to Chris’ story than I could share in one letter. It is a profound story of God’s healing and redemption, and I hope you hear it some day in full. Until then, on behalf of Chris and countless others like him, thank you. Thank you for sharing Jesus Christ with kids who desperately need to know Him. Thank you for making His message crystal clear. It is a privilege to partner with you in Young Life.​

In Christ for all kids,

Newton F. Crenshaw