​Sam Adams
July 25, 1928 - Nov. 13, 2015
By Jeff Chesemore

From his first meeting with Jim Rayburn at a high school assembly in 1943 to his passing at the age of 87, Sam Adams was an original. Throughout his life, he moved through a variety of roles: from rebellious club kid to professional football player to Young Life leader and trainer.

Adams met Christ through Jim Rayburn’s club in Fort Worth, Texas. He shared his testimony in Young Life magazine in 1946:

“I went [to club] for a while and gave Jim all kinds of trouble — like throwing books or pushing his car [10–15 blocks down the street!]. All this time he had been telling us about a person named Jesus. ... Since I already knew about Jesus, I didn’t need to listen to Jim. So I didn’t.”

At one club, Rayburn called out Adams for “cutting up” on the back stairway and had him come down front to sit. “It sure burned me up, so I sat there and stared at him. While I was sitting there, I noticed he was still talking about Jesus. This time I listened. Jim told how He had loved us so much He died on the cross for me. Why should He die for me, I wondered? Then came Camp El Har, and there I found the Lord.”

Over the years Adams led club in Pullman, Washington, and trained countless numbers of Washington State University students. Like so many of his contemporaries, Adams’ faithfulness helped grow the mission of Young Life, not only in Washington, but around the world. His love and service in Young Life lasted for nearly five decades.​

Jeff Stables
June 6, 1978 - Dec. 7, 2015
By Lee Corder, Senior Vice President, International Ministries

Our brother, Jeff Stables, served with great distinction by starting a new area in Culpeper, Virginia, 15 years ago before moving on two years ago to begin Young Life in St. Andrews, Scotland. Jeff, Becca and the great Stables “men” went, entrusting themselves to Jesus and experiencing a favor that was beyond remarkable in that beautiful setting.

Our brother Jeff, who decided with Becca and their sons to stay in Scotland in mission until he was no longer able to function, ran the race to the finish. Jeff’s verse for the year became, “‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise” (Ephesians 5:14-15, NIV).

So while we’re looking for understanding, we cling to their faith and the incredible gift of knowing our brother Jeff has been set free, a young and vigorous man again, in the presence of his Lord Jesus, where our lionhearted brother worships in the presence of Aslan Himself.

For we remember that “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants” (Psalm 116:15, NIV). Well done, faithful brother. You have taught us w​ell, shown us the way and invited us to join you in this journey of faith.

Lord Jesus, receive our dear brother and your beloved son Jeff. May he hear your voice saying, “Come forth, Jeff, lay down those grave clothes and enter into the joy of my rest.”

Eliezer "Manoy Eli" M. Yasi
March 22, 1933 - Dec. 7, 2015
By Jeff Chesemore

On Monday, Dec. 7, Eli Yasi went home to be with Jesus, the very one he had told thousands of Filipino youth about for more than five decades. Yasi started Young Life in the Philippines and that part of his journey is told below:

In 1965, a young Filipino named Eli Yasi traveled to the United States as th​​e coordinator for the Philippines Crusades. He was looking to adapt a program for those Filipino youth who were difficult to reach. He visited many youth programs across the nation, but always concluded, “This isn’t right.” Everything changed when Yasi arrived at his first Young Life club. “When I saw kids smoking cigarettes and deflating tires of the cars parked outside I said, ‘This is it! I’ve found it! These are the ones I want to reach!’ Then we went inside. The kids sang songs and shouted, and then the leader, Jim Shelton, told the story about the Good Samaritan. And the kids listened. After that I said, ‘This is the concept that’s been in my mind.’” Yasi returned to the island of Mindanao, and after two months of contact work, witnessed three hundred kids pack out the first Young Life club in the Philippines. (From Made for This: The Young Life Story, p. 59)

Martie Sheffer
Oct. 24, 1919 - Dec. 21, 2015
By Jeff Chesemore

Pioneer. If there’s one word that epitomizes Martie Sheffer’s faithful journey in Young Life, it would be this one. Through five decades, Martie, alongside her husband, George, helped begin various ministries to all kinds of kids throughout the United States and beyond.

The couple always felt called to new work, and after working in suburban schools in Tyler, Texas, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, from the early ’40s until 1961, they began reaching out to kids in Dallas’s inner city.

They soon moved to the west side of Chicago, where their ministry in the midst of a turbulent decade was legendary. In the 1970s they helped their son, George Sheffer III, start the Dale House, a refuge for hurting kids, in Colorado Springs.

After their “retirement” in the 1980s, they considered yet another type of ministry in another new place. Martie, 64, accompanied George, 65, to Nairobi, Kenya, where they trained African youth workers in Young Life’s incarnational ministry.

Following George’s death in 1987, Martie continued ministry at the Dale House, at prisons with her small group and at her retirement home. Her genuine warmth and sweet spirit will be missed by the many lives she touched.