Anyone remember highschool?
Every October, I get excited about attending a fundraising dinner.....yes, you read right, I said I actually enjoy attending a fundraising dinner! I've written to you briefly before about our involvement in Arlington Younglife. Darren is on the local committee and my involvement is very minimal, but its one of those organizations on which we place a high value.
Every year without fail I start to cry at inappropriate times during the Younglife banquet. Not during the emotional video or during the student or leader testimonies which are generally meant to pull on your heart strings. But what gets me every year is when all the high school students and their leaders run up on the stage to show us what their club looks like on Monday nights. They sing songs, watch ridiculously funny skits, play games, and have a good time. Why am I crying about this?!?!?
Do you remember highschool? I do. I remember an intense loneliness at certain times. I remember desperately needing someone to talk to when I didn't feel like I could talk to my parents. I remember having serious questions about my faith. And I remember having absolutely NOONE to turn to. My parents were Christians and I was a church girl who went to a private Christian high school. And still....noone. I didn't have a good relationship with anyone who was older than me or with whom I could trust with my very real questions and struggles. There was no Younglife in my small town in Mississippi.
I was the "best case scenario" in high school. Good family, attended church, good grades. Even as the best case, I was still missing something I desperately needed: a mentor, a friend to walk beside me, listen to me, and show me the way to walk with Christ. Can you imagine the challenges that face highschool students today? Can you imagine how they survive? If I had a hard time as the "best case" what about the worst situation? What is it like to have no family to speak of; or maybe worse, an abusive family? To be addicted to drugs at 15, confused about sex, trapped by poverty, or suffocated by hopelessness? How would they know about the love of Christ and why would they care to hear? They are certainly not going to show up at our comfy churches on Sunday morning, and if they did, what would we do? But they just might listen to someone who shows up to eat lunch with them at school, attends their soccer practice, and invests time and energy pursuing a relationship with them on their turf.
That's why I cry when I see those kids running up on stage with hope in their eyes, mentors and friends by their side, ready to be silly and have fun. They are NOT alone in this world...... they have their Younglife leader showing them the way, introducing them to Jesus, and helping them learn how to follow him.
Follow this link and read a little about Younglife and their goal of relationships with highschool friends. Then consider making a donation or calling your area director to see how you can help. It is money and time well spent.