Every year in December, Northstar takes up two offerings in its December services. One is our regular ministry offering. The second offering is our Holiday Missions Offering. The HMO is given to the ministries and agencies that Northstar partners with to encourage them during the holidays. [For a listing of those, click here.]
Our HMO Spotlight series highlight those ministries and agencies that we support.
The following was submitted by Kimmie Strawn, YoungLife staffer:
Young Life began in 1941 in Texas when a youth pastor was challenged to view all kids in the local neighborhood as his parish. This meant that he would leave the church walls and walk directly into the lives of unchurched teenagers. Young Life leaders have been doing the same thing ever since. Our volunteer leaders (many of whom are students at Virginia Tech) leave what is comfortable and go to the local schools, skate parks, shopping malls, community events, etc to meet kids in places that are comfortable to them. This allows leaders to build long lasting relationships in the hopes that as the relationships grow deeper so will meaningful conversations.
Tim and Nikki Hartin, with the help of their staff, Debbie Machingo (YoungLives coordinator) and Shelley Mills (Student Staff) oversee about 90 Volunteer leaders. We currently have 13 different Young Life teams in the New River Valley reaching out to middle school students, high school students, college students, pregnant and parenting teens, and kids with special needs. Our hope is that every kid in the New River Valley has the chance to have an encounter with the God of the universe who fully knows them and fully loves them.
We reach out to unchurched kids in a few different ways. We get to know kids on their turf and spend time with them outside of school or church events! This really is the core of what we do! While doing this we build deep relationships with kids and they begin to trust us and ask questions about life. Once we have established a relationship with kids we invite them to a weekly meeting called Club. We view club as a party with a purpose. We play silly games, sing songs, and have a talk at the end where we share the Gospel in a way that kids can understand. If kids are interested in learning more about God and what a personal relationship with him looks like we have a weekly meeting called Campaigners. This really allows kids to make their faith their own! We also attend camp twice a year with the intention that kids can get away from the pressures of life and really spend time learning more about God and figuring out where they stand with him. It is a privilege to get to do what we do. Wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for the support and friendship of the local church! So, thank you for helping to make this mission possible!
Because Tim & Nikki and their staffers raise support to serve with YL, as you plan your giving this season, remember to give generously to the HMO. A portion of what is received goes to bless them. If you’d like to give to them directly through YL, you can click this link.