September 2020

camera_jared_drop4-13.jpgAs I write this letter, 17 of the 20 largest school districts in this country have made the difficult decision to forego in-person learning, at least for now. The first bell of the fall will echo through empty hallways in many places, and more and more fall sports are being canceled or postponed. This relentless season of disappointment and loss continues to take a toll on us all. Yet, God’s love is more relentless still, and Young Life leaders keep showing up in kids’ lives in the name of Jesus. It is a wonder to behold. 

For instance, one day in early June, a group of eighth graders in one community got an unexpected text that said, “Can you meet us in the park at 4:00?” When the kids showed up, they were welcomed by cheering WyldLife leaders who had staged a surprise eighth-grade graduation, since the official ceremony had been canceled. 

The leaders had cut holes in plastic tablecloths to make gowns for the students and seated the robed graduates in chairs six feet apart. There was a kazoo chorus playing “Pomp and Circumstance,” and a commencement speaker who talked about the light of all mankind that “the darkness has not overcome” (John 1:5). At the end of the ceremony, the distinguished graduates were invited to throw a pie into the face of the speaker, a tradition not found in the halls of many academic institutions. 

Today, those same kids enter high school as freshmen via online learning. It’s not what anyone had hoped for, yet they enter with an unseen confidence and conviction: God’s love is more relentless than the pandemic. They have seen it for themselves through the lives of their leaders who refuse to give up, against all odds. 

Thank you for supporting this mission. Thank you for putting leaders in the lives of middle school, high school and college students across this country and around the world. The days seem dark, but “the true light that gives light to everyone” cannot be overcome. Thank you for offering the light of Jesus Christ to countless kids.  

In Christ for all kids,

Newton F. Crenshaw