Jesus loves me this I know.

The title of this post is a song many of us are taught as children, and it’s an example of how when we teach our children about God’s love they will hopefully remember that throughout their lives. We are all God’s children. Someone once said to me that we often think of God in the same way we think of our earthly fathers. Now that’s a lot of pressure to put on our men, but all of us should take that to heart in how we act as role models for our youth.

My pastor mentioned the other day that kids who are pre-teen and early teens are at a critical point in their lives, seeking some kind of belonging and need for guidance. A visitor to church the other week told us an alarming trend of how much pressure our kids are feeling today and that 50 years ago they would be institutionalized. I can only imagine growing up in a world with so much stimulus, so much judging from online trolls, so much stress about how to “look” and compete with the world of glamour that is portrayed day in and day out. All of that is fake. But they and we believe it. My generation grew up doubting authority. We were lied to by authority figures and often had to learn to take care of ourselves, and we learned to be fiercely independent by nature. My parents were wonderful and took great care of us like so many of my friends parents as well, but I am still genuinely Gen x to the core. But I did not have to deal with the Internet and social media, and the news has gotten worse everyday. It’s hard enough as an adult dealing with this, can you imagine being an impressionable kid?

The kids these days need real relationships and good role models. We need to give them a better world with support to help them be independent but without so much stress. So many don’t have that. And that is where we need individuals who are willing to make commitments to build relationships and give time to these kids—leaders who work for groups like Young Life, the most recent recipient of a grant from the Masterpiece Fund. A friend of our Masterpiece Fund family has met with us recently to tell us the wonderful work she is doing and how the program in Alexandria, VA is growing and more and more kids are being drawn to the program to make new friends, hear the Word of God, and grow in their relationships with each other and our Savior.

In addition to the day-to-day work they do, she also told us of a great need for support for their camp. As a huge fan of sending kids to camp, we know the life-long value and the experience kids (and adults) get from going that will impact them their entire lives. So we gave another grant to send kids to Camp Champion. Please consider giving to this wonderful organization.

From the Young Life website:

Young Life doesn’t start with a program. It starts with adults concerned enough about kids to go to them, on their turf and in their culture, building bridges of authentic friendship. These relationships don’t happen overnight — they take time, patience, trust and consistency.

So Young Life leaders log many hours with kids around the world — where they are, as they are. Leaders faithfully attend football practices in the Minneapolis suburbs, mingle with teenagers at a mall in Stockholm and play pick-up soccer with former child-soldiers in Liberia. We listen to their stories and learn what’s important to them because we genuinely care about their joys, triumphs, heartaches and setbacks.

We believe in the power of presence. Kids’ lives are dramatically impacted when caring adults come alongside them, sharing God’s love with them. Because their leader believes in them, they begin to see that their lives have great worth, meaning and purpose.

At Camp Champion kids will spend a week where deep relationships are forged in the midst of mind-boggling fun and where you experience and listen to what we believe is the greatest love story ever told.

Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their lives.
(Proverbs 22:6)

But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”
(Luke 18:16)

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