Young Life Alumni and Friends Awards

The Young Life Office of Alumni and Friends is pleased to present two awards annually to deserving alumni. The Alumni Service to Young Life Award goes to Richard and Miriam Grubb, while the recipient of the Distinguished Young Life Alumni Award is Bob Goff. Each of these recipients has exemplified the ideals of dedication to the mission. Jonathan Schultz, Alumni and Friends director, recently caught up with them to hear more of their stories. Here's a little bit of what he learned.

Richard and Miriam Grubb

In 1947, Miriam heard Jim Rayburn speak at a missionary conference in Philadelphia. Captured by this fresh approach to reach kids with the Gospel, Miriam began to attend Young Life and help with the music. "It was clear there was something very special about this new outreach to high-school kids," she said. She later attended Wheaton College and met Richard, recently discharged from the Army. They have now been married more than 62 years.

Over those six decades, the Grubbs have continued to serve with Young Life. The couple has lived in Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore and New England, serving on local area committees in each location. Their final move to Rhode Island in 1964 proved, in their own words, "to be a turning point with Young Life and in our own lives." Upon hearing of the Grubbs' desire to begin Young Life in Rhode Island, Tom Getman, the regional director in New England suggested they contact Mike and Barb Coleman, Marylanders who might be interested in this new venture. The Colemans agreed to move in with the Grubbs and, within a few months, club was going at Lincoln High School. For the next 10 years, while the Colemans planted clubs in Newport and Barrington, the Grubbs headed up the local committee and assisted with financial needs; their efforts indeed established Young Life in Rhode Island.

Though the Grubbs have stepped away from committee, they continue to serve in many other ways. Perhaps the greatest testament to their leadership is that the area continues to grow and reach more kids. Rhode Island area director Corenna Hoyt said, "The Grubbs' heart for this ministry is tremendous. There are so many teenagers walking with Christ today who have passed from a place of despair to a place of hope because of their efforts."


Bob Goff

Your first exposure to Young Life was through your leader, Randy. What did you learn from him?Bob Goff is an attorney, an adjunct professor at Pepperdine Law School and now the author of Love Does. He is also extremely grateful for the role the mission played in his life.

I learned love doesn't just ask us to agree with Jesus or give us a bunch of facts to memorize about Him. Instead, love knows just being with us is enough. It's probably why God decided He would be called "Emanuel" in the Bible. "God with us." Young Life people get that. Randy taught me that in the backward economy of Jesus, when love is most extravagantly given, it's least wasted. Young Life understands the love Jesus talks about is an active one. It goes with us.

You met your wife through Young Life. How else did being a leader impact your life?
I met Sweet Maria when we were Young Life leaders in San Diego. It was love at first sight for me but unfortunately, it took her years to warm up to me. What I learned about loving high-school kids in Young Life taught me a lot about how to love Maria during that time. I walked onto many high-school campuses to show love to students who, at first, really didn't pay any attention to me. It was a lot like pursuing Maria. She wasn't mean about it and the kids weren't either, they just didn't feel about me the way I felt about them. I see now that God kept pursuing me the way I kept pursuing Maria — with creativity and expectation of a deeper relationship someday. That's how I pursued Maria and how most of you pursue kids. We all lean into the hunch that someday the ones we love will love us the same way. God had the same hunch about us.

Each chapter of Love Does begins with an insight. What would you say about Young Life?
Everyone wants to make a difference, but only a few people want to be different." One thing that sets Young Life people apart is they act different because they want to be different. They know love doesn't just think about Jesus — love does.

To visit the Alumni and Friends website, join, update your information and reconnect with your Young Life friends, go to alumniandfriends.younglife.org.