March 2018

Dear Friend,

I want to offer you a riddle. A Young Life leader and a high school junior were sitting beside the lake at camp. It was a warm summer’s day, and they were processing what the speaker had shared about Jesus each night at club. The camper was a young man of Arabic descent who often prefaced his comments in cabin time with, “Well, you know I’m a Muslim, but … .” He was also a football player from a championship team coached by his leader. The two had become close friends through three years of football and Young Life.

At the end of the conversation, someone said, “Can I pray for you?” Here is the riddle: Who asked that question? It is exactly whom you would expect, and exactly whom you would not.

If you guessed the leader, you are correct. If you guessed the camper, you are correct as well.

First, the leader prayed for his young friend, and then his young friend asked, “Can I pray for you, too?” The leader was humbled and responded, “Of course!” Then the young man prayed a melodic Muslim prayer in Arabic. The leader didn’t understand Arabic, so he asked, “What did you pray?” The camper answered, “That is the prayer we pray for family.”

I am deeply grateful for the mission of Young Life. I am grateful for leaders who make friends with kids of all kinds and respectfully share the truth about Jesus. I am also grateful for kids who trust us enough to reveal the heart of who they are in our presence. We treasure that sacred trust and refuse to violate it with any hint of manipulation or coercion. Instead, we humbly wait on the Lord Jesus and trust Him with their lives. 

Thank you for supporting this mission. Thank you for giving countless kids the opportunity to know Jesus. What an honor to be considered family by our young friends. It is a privilege to partner with you in Young Life.

In Christ for all kids,

Newton F. Crenshaw