Stories

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February 2020

I wonder if you felt the earth move in the middle of the morning on January 8. I wonder if you heard the thunder that I heard rolling through this mission. The epicenter of activity was in Orlando, Florida, where 5,500 Young Life staff and friends sprang to their feet in unison and started clapping and cheering wildly with laughter and tears. It was a moment that I thought might never end.

What was it that brought an entire mission to its feet spontaneously with gratitude and joy at our all-staff conference in Orlando? Was it a world-renowned speaker? A prolific author? A famous musician singing a favorite song? We were blessed to have all those headliners and more at YL2020, but what brought us spontaneously to our feet was a high school senior named Hunter.

Hunter stood on stage next to his leader, Josh, and shared with us the story of how Jesus changed his life through this mission. He was warm, winsome and disarmingly vulnerable. He told us how he had “ghosted” Josh for six months, which meant he ignored every effort Josh made to befriend him. Yet when life fell apart for Hunter and he had nowhere else to turn, he knew Josh would answer his call. Within the hour, Josh was knocking on Hunter’s door.

Today, Hunter is following Jesus and living a very different life than he was the night he called Josh, and now he knows what it feels like to stand at the epicenter of an earthquake. There is no one who can bring us to our feet — or to our knees — faster than a kid like Hunter. Whether we are praying for kids who are rejecting us, or cheering for kids who are confessing Christ, they are the sole reason we exist in Young Life. Thank you for making a way for us to reach kids of all kinds who need Jesus. I look forward to standing with you one day, cheering for the Savior and all the “kids” he has rescued through this mission. That will truly be a moment that never ends.

It is a privilege to partner with you in Young Life.​

In Christ for all kids,


Newton F. Crenshaw