Why We Love Indigenous Leaders

Posted on by Tacoma YFC

One night six summers ago, there was a knock at my door. Standing on my doorstep were four high school boys that I had barely even met. They showed up because they knew I was going to be their cabin leader and wanted to know if I could pick them up for the bus the next morning at 5 AM. That’s the first time that I met CJ.

That week of camp was not only one of my favorite camp experiences, it was what made me fall in love with the ministry of YFC. I was a young volunteer who just wanted to show teens that Jesus loved them and had a plan for their lives. CJ and I connected that week, and I have been walking alongside him as a mentor ever since. My goal years ago was to disciple CJ and intentionally equip him so that he could become a mentor in the same ministry one day.

Now, I lead and coordinate Sozo, the ministry we both started in. CJ is not just an adult that used to be a YFC student, he is a volunteer for the same ministry he joined in the sixth grade. And I am blown away by God’s plan for his life, because He had far more in store for him than I could ever imagine.

“I am blown away by God’s plans for his life because He had far more in store for him than I could ever imagine."

CJ is a loyal and consistent adult in the lives of the middle schoolers that come. When he tells the students “you don’t have to be like everyone else around you,” they listen. On our team, he is able to walk out the natural leader that God created him to be.

Our neighborhoods are full of CJ’s – youth becoming young men and women who just need someone to come alongside them, share that Jesus loves them, and walk with them into who God created them to be.

This is why we love our volunteers. So many of our volunteers walk with youth through multiple seasons of their lives – for CJ that was years of bible study, going to church, going to movies, eating dinners, random road trips, concerts and sporting events.

Now he is a willing, equipped, leader. Years of investing time, money and prayers and now seeing this young man start to walk the way that God gave me the vision for so many summers ago. We need more CJ’s – so we also need more people willing to lay down their time and comfort to invest in kids from the neighborhood so that one day they will do likewise. 

By: Josh Chambers, City Life Coordinator

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