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  • Writer's pictureArt and Jen Schroeder

Connecting Church and Community (YFC)

Portage la Prairie, MB – These past few months have been full of activities that have helped us share the love of Jesus with our community. Events like the carnival in August allowed us the opportunity to create a fun and safe atmosphere for all who attended. Two of our goals in this event were offering love and trying to find ways of sharing Christ in the moment. Many families left excited and encouraged by the activities and the treats they took away from the event.

In December we held a pizza / pool party event for the families of the youth we work with. We reached our capacity of 300 people 2 days ahead of the event. Over 60 volunteers focused on loving and connecting with the families that came. You could find our staff sitting and eating with families and interacting with them in the pool. One of our volunteers started talking about her church and invited a mom to come and visit sometime. The mom was really excited and said she would come and check it out. Another volunteer invited a young dad to his church and he showed up the next day! One of the students declared "This is the best day of my life!" These big events are focused on connecting the church community to our unchurched community to help spread the gospel and create community that so many people are looking for.

In addition to my Executive Director responsibilities, I have been connecting with some older youth by helping them find jobs. Sometimes this requires going to a worksite to help integrate/ teach them about a work environment they are not familiar with and to support the employer who is willing to try a new employee with minimal work experience. This year I have helped around 11 people find employment and I'm working on more. Part of sharing Christ with people is going beyond meeting their spiritual needs. Some of the needs of these guys include helping with budgeting, transportation, financial assistance, housing needs, counseling, family counseling, and educational assistance. As I'm not qualified to meet all these needs, I have the privilege of finding the resources for these amazing people!

This past year has been one of my hardest years at YFC. I have faced a lot of challenges and I have seen God guide and direct us through them all. Despite the hardships, I feel and see the scars these challenges have left, not just for me, but for those that have faced them with us. I am so thankful that I serve a patient, forgiving, and wise God who doesn't give up on his children. Your prayer into this next season of our time with Youth for Christ would be greatly appreciated.

As we look ahead, we are excited about some new staff joining us, potentially connecting YFC in other communities and finding new ways of discipling youth in their faith. We are seeing doors reopen in places we served last year, and we are eager to see what God wants to do through those ministries. Please pray for us as we look for high school and drop-in directors. God has blessed us with great junior high ministers. Now we are looking for some more high school ministers. If this is something God has laid on your heart, please reach out to me here at YFC.

Home church: Bagot Community Chapel, Manitoba


This article was originally published in The Recorder Vol 61 No 2


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