​Char Meredith Hartzell

11/26/21 – 3/27/17

On March 27 the mission lost a dear friend in Char Meredith Hartzell, a woman who loved to tell the story of what God was doing through Young Life.

Hartzell was a gifted writer who, among her many contributions, blessed the mission in 1978 with It’s a Sin to Bore a Kid. The book, which told the history of Young Life’s first three decades, was a favorite among staff and volunteers for years. Tracing the story from Jim Rayburn’s seminary days in Dallas through 1977, the work painted the picture of a mission continually learning how to better reach kids.

Throughout her illustrious career, Hartzell also worked faithfully on many other books and articles, including Tough Love with Bill Milliken and His Quiet Splendor with former president, Bill Starr. She also served as the editor for Focus on Youth, Young Life’s magazine to adults, which ran from 1967 to 1975. Each edition introduced parents and committee to a specific issue facing adolescents during that turbulent era.

A graduate of Wheaton College, where she was classmates with Billy and Ruth Graham, Hartzell married John Meredith in 1944. In 1948, she gave birth to their only child, Rick. Following John’s death in 1961, she went into full-time freelance writing to support Rick and herself. In 1979 she married Wesley Hartzell, who preceded her in death in 1982.

Rick wrote, “She was a pioneer, a gifted writer, a loving mom and grandmother. She knew deep loss in her life and yet radiated authentic joy. She seized moments and loved people outrageously and without reservation. She had a wonderful passion for life, and she was in the vanguard of subscribing to a Christianity that acted upon a genuine social concern. Her life was full of grace and risk and spunk and courage and compassion and fun.”

Michael Aguilar

5/7/87 – 5/22/17

Michael Aguilar, our area director in Olancho, Honduras, is now with his beloved Savior. In May, Aguilar lost his life in a motorcycle accident. Dan Jessup, Young Life’s senior vice president of Latin America/Caribbean, said, “Mike and Daniela have been a testimony of answering God’s call with courage, faithfulness and love for kids.”

Kevin Suwyn, regional director for Central America, shared some of Aguilar’s words of wisdom to the leaders in Honduras:

“Always listen to the voice of Jesus so you will know what to do next.”
“Any time you see a kid, remember that Jesus might be sending you to that kid.”
“Don't be afraid to make decisions!”
“When one leader leaves, another must rise up.”
“If I die doing this work, I'll die happy.”

These leaders told Suwyn, “We are going forward with the vision of Jesus and kids Mike left with us.” Please join in praying to the “Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” for Daniela, the entire team of leaders and the kids.​