Mason County News
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Letters to the Editor: A Public Forum
Young Life
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 • Posted October 17, 2013

Young Life has been in Mason for over a year now, and I am still encountering people who do not know what it is or have some vague notion of what it is.  So, I decided to try and give an overview that I pray will be informative.     First of all, Young Life does not teach any religious philosophy except this:  We want the young people of Mason County to know Jesus Christ in a very real and personal way.  We try to help them know what it means to pray, what it means to have Christ in their lives every day, all the time, and what it means to build relationships with others with Christ in the center.  We welcome all who come, no matter their past, their present, or their reputation.  We continually encourage them to get involved in a local church and youth group, and do our best to interface with and support any group in Mason County that has the welfare of all our youth as their goal.     Once a week, there is a Club meeting for one hour that is open to all high school youth.  It begins with some very upbeat songs (some in my generation might use other discriptors) that try to get everyone excited and involved.  There is usually a skit put on by the youth, a fun/crazy activity involving some or all of the youth, and then more meditative songs that lead to a Christian witness or testimony, or Bible based devotion.  Then, on another week night, we invite them to “Campaigners” which is a Bible study that is geared to show how all scripture points to Jesus Christ and how it is relevant to their world.  Everyone is encouraged and given the opportunity to participate.  Lack of participation is rarely a problem, for they are given thought-provoking questions that relate to their lives, relationships, hurts, dreams, and expectations, and how scripture is related to them.  There are other fun and relationship building activities during the year - some just for the young men, some for just the young women, and some coed.     We realize that high school youth in a community our size have many demands on their time with many extracurricular activities vying for their participation.  And yes, I did say high SCHOOL, so they also need to focus on why they are there and devote adequate time to studying.  That is why our area director, J.W. Harle, his wife Bonnie, and our adult leaders devote many hours to building relationships with our youth (not just high school) where they are at, whether it be their extracurricular activities, special events in their lives, or just hanging out.  We realize that without one-on-one relationships, which are what Christ modeled for us while on earth, we are just another program competing for their time.     Approximately 60% of our high school youth have had some involvement in Young Life.  This past summer, we took 25 of them to a week-long Young Life camp in Georgia which I think most of them would agree was an awesome experience.  We have seen lives changed, and yes, there have been some disappointments, but the Spirit is alive and working in our youth.  The response of this community through donations and commitment of time and resources has been awesome.  We have struggled at times, but God always provides when we are faithful in serving Him.  We are also very thankful for our student leaders who lead by example every day.    .  If you are unable to support us financially, please support us with your prayers, and if possible, with your time.  Let a young person of any age know you are interested in them and what they are doing, take time to talk to them, and show them that someone, other than those it is expected of, cares for them.     If you would like to know more about what we are doing or would like to become involved in some way, the names of our committee members are listed below.  We would love to visit with you.     There is no better investment than in the youth in our community. 

J.W. and Bonnie Harle

Mona Lois Schmidt

Julio and Beatrice Ramon

Lee and Lindsey Alexander

Rob Hofmann

Lester and Cindy Kothmann

Jay Tedder

Roger Jordan

Tim Walker

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