October 2020
The boat full of boys had never seen the underside of the Golden Gate Bridge before, though they had lived their whole lives in San Francisco. For a brief moment in August, however, the rising sun behind them and the sprawling bridge above them were the same flaming color, and equally as stunning. 

“They were so excited,” said Daniel, the Young Life leader who had organized the fishing trip for the crew. “Passing beneath the bridge, it felt like we were leaving the pandemic far behind us.” 

The boat reached the first foggy fishing spot by 7 a.m., and the guide said the fish were 30 feet down. He was right. Soon the boat was full of flopping rockfish, and the young men were becoming quick studies at baiting hooks and dropping lines. Later in the day, at a different spot, the anglers hauled in another 20 halibut, then finally headed home. It had been a good day, one they would never forget, and yet the adventure was not over. 

The next night, each boy showed up with his bag of fish in the backyard of the family who had underwritten the trip to have a tasty feast. Each wrapped their own fish in aluminum foil, covered it with onions, peppers and butter, then threw it onto the grill. This was a “no-utensils-needed” meal as the boys ate with their fingers, then listened to Daniel talk about another group of guys who went fishing. 

Just yesterday the boys had been baptized in fishy waters, so when Daniel shared from Luke 5, they could easily imagine Jesus climbing into a boat to teach the crowds gathered on the shore. They could hear this seasoned guide tell the disciples to drop their nets into the water. They could see and smell the flopping fish inside the boat. Suddenly, these young anglers were face-to-face with the Master, learning what it meant to fish for people and follow Him. 

Thank you for dropping leaders like Daniel into the lives of countless kids. We’re all anglers in this mission, and it is a privilege to be in the boat with you, catching kids for Jesus Christ. 

In Christ for all kids,

Newton F. Crenshaw