I chose to come to Hope for a lot of reasons. One being soccer (how can you say no to Van Andel Soccer Stadium?). Another being the fact that Hope is the only Christian school I visited that didn’t require Chapel attendance. However, at those Chapel services, kids fill the building every time. Kids actually want to go to Chapel? Crazy, right? As we’ve already covered, Hope is dope.
One of the other main reasons I chose to come to Hope is that the Greater Holland Area Young Life chapter absolutely thrives. Unfortunately for me, although coming in to school Young Life was a priority, for a while it had to take a back seat to soccer, work, studying, etc… Until now. But first a little background.
At my high school, North Allegheny, our YL club was huge! Still is actually, and growing. None the less, Young Life played an extremely instrumental role in my life through out high school. Some of my closest friends, who I frankly never thought would associate themselves with Jesus, met Christ through Young Life. I was absolutely fascinated by an organization that was drawing kids in like no church youth group ever could (at least to my own experience). In addition, my YL leader Dan Irvin played a very key role in my maturation, and helped me develop into the young man I am today. The people I met, relationships I built, and experiences I, well experienced, through YL have left an everlasting impact on my outlook on life. You could ask most of my friends from North Allegheny and I bet they’d say the same thing. It was awesome!
Come my junior year, Dan allowed some of us older kids to play more active roles in the ministry. Being the youngest of three kids, I had rarely been in a position of leadership that did not involve soccer. As a student leader for Young Life, I was given that chance. And I absolutely loved it. I wanted to impact other kids’ lives, just as Dan and the other YL leaders had changed mine. Of course they would always tell me that it wasn’t by their own power that these things were happening, but it was Jesus working through them. Slowly but surely, I grasped this concept and hoped that one day Christ would give me the opportunity to lead like these role models in my life had, and continue to do so.
Fast-forward a few years and here I am at Hope. Last night was the Holland Area Young Life Christmas party. There, all of the new leaders, including myself, got to find out where they’d been placed to lead the following semester. Turns out I wasn’t the only one who thought YL was awesome in high school, as nearly 70 new leaders have been placed this semester.
Personally, I’ve been placed at Hamilton High School, a place I know close to nothing about. But Go Hawkeyes!
I can’t wait to see how God uses me in this new role I’ve been blessed with. I’m looking forward to getting started!
Of course, I have some encouragement. Short and sweet. Psalm 37:5 tells us that if we commit our acts to God, then he will act. You never know who is looking up to you. If you play your cards right, you may even convince a college kid to give up his free time to teach high schoolers about Jesus. Thanks, Dan. Seriously.
Have an excellent week everybody! Why not go out and change somebody’s life. As the Young Life motto goes, “You were made for this.”