The big events of YL, the Clubs and Campaigners, are awesome but they're not the heart of what we do in Young Life. My favorite moments are when I get to sit down one on one with a YL girl and just talk and listen and ask questions. I got to do that twice today-- with Alli Sams before school and then with Sam after school. I'm so thankful for both of these girls and that we get to share life together.
Tonight was the very last Campaigners of the year for Wyld Life. It seems a little sad that it's over and wild that summer is so soon. But isn't it crazy that last year we weren't even having Wyld Life Campaigners? When KCraig came on staff this year it was her goal to have Campaigners every other week for our Junior High kids. And it happened in a very big way.
Hanging out with these kids at Mama Bear's has become my favorite way to spend my Wednesday nights. It's also nuts to think about how just a year ago I didn't know these girls at all but now they're some of the main characters of my day to day life. It's exciting to know that you always have room in your life for more people, more friends, more love.
KCraig also ran with our HS friends in a more organized, intentional and supportive way than we had done before. Now HS girls like Rachel and Es are a part of this Wyld Life family and are building friendships with girls like Taylor, Abby and Cassie.
I'm so glad that since week 9 at Tecumseh, Sarah Woodward has been such a big part of my life. I love that Jess, and her husband Conner, have been a huge part of this team and such consistent leaders and friends. I've been doing YL with Hannah for three years now and I hate that our time together is running out so quickly.
We were reminiscing about Wyld Life and one of the 8th grade guys said, "I look forward to Campaigners even more than Club." I think that's so different that what people expect from 13 year old guys. But these kids have shown us over and over how much they want to be in relationships, in conversation, in meaningful time together.
We sat outside tonight to sing Set A Fire, 10,000 Reasons and One Thing Remains together. I love when Conner leads us in worship. Over this past year these kids have sang so many different songs to God together. For many of them, this is the only place they get to do that.
Inside Mama Bear's we had about 15 different envelopes hung up around the room with questions on them and slips of paper nearby. The kids walked around and tried to answer as many as they could, putting their answers into those envelopes.
What's something you always pray about?
If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?
What's something you're proud of?
What's one thing you wish was different about your family?
Think of someone that inspires you--what's special about them?
What do you wish your friends would start or stop doing?
What have you learned about Jesus this year?
Think of a friend that has always been there, what do they do that makes them a great friend?
Who is God to you?
All of us spent time writing a letter to our future selves. Conner asked us to reflect back on the things that we've learned this year, the things we heard in Wyld Life talks and conversations. We wrote down things that we hope we're still doing by the time we read this letter-- reading the bible, being nice to our siblings or going to church on Sunday. We encourage our future selves and wrote who we hope we will be by the time we read it.
*The most difficult part of the whole night was when the kids each had to write their home address on their envelope. So much confusion. Further proof that we need a handwritten letter revolution.*
When I visited the HS yesterday, one of the teachers had "What are you passionate about?" written in the middle of a white board and kids wrote their answers all around it. I bet you won't be too surprised that I added, "My campers, YL kids and students."
I'm so thankful that my youth pastor in HS inspired me to go into youth ministry. I'm so thankful that in my first week at Hope, Emily and Lani invited me to come to Young Life Leader Training with them. I'm so thankful that when I moved to Indy I got a call from Jenna Tyler asking me to coffee to talk about Carmel YL. I'm so thankful that my HSE YL family has been filled with beautiful people like Maddie, Haleigh and Hannah.