As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to drag on, many experts are raising concern over the mental health of children and youth around the world. Many parents and guardians report their children feeling extreme depression, isolation, and apathy as the pandemic forced them to stay home and lose physical access to school, friends, and extracurricular activities.
As a response to this concern, Youth For Christ (YFC, www.yfc.net), a fixture in the youth ministry community in America for the past 77 years, has supported young people by coming alongside them in pivotal moments and committing to living life together with them, all while pointing back to the hope of Christ. One chapter, YFC Northern Indiana, has gone above and beyond in their mission to create meaningful relationships with their “We Believe in You(th)” campaign. This campaign was first created in 2020 with the goal to inspire confidence in the young people in the area. Parents, teachers, guardians, and the rest of the community hung up signs and banners all throughout the Fort Wayne area with the message “We Believe in You(th).”
Said Chris Todia, executive director of YFC Northern Indiana, “Last year, YFC Northern Indiana launched a one-week, all out campaign for the young people of this region and that campaign turned into a movement! We were blown away by how the community responded and what God did. We had thousands of people engage in this, with over 1,400 people donating over $500,000 to the young people of this area.
“We had everyone from teachers posting videos with the message of ‘We believe in you,’ to parents sitting down with their kids and telling them just why they believe in them, to churches and businesses putting up yard signs spreading this message—it was just incredible to witness. The week was capped off by video messages the youth sent back to us, thanking us for believing in them.”
After such a success from last year, YFC Northern Indiana has relaunched the campaign again. Todia and the rest of the YFC team hope this will remain an annual campaign, and even spread nationally.
The overarching message of the campaign, according to Todia, is simple. “We are trying to tell the youth, ‘We believe in you,’” Todia explained. ‘“We believe in your future, and we value what you have to offer. We see your strength shining through it all, and we will go all out on your behalf.’”
YFC chapters impact thousands of communities across the nation, seeking out and serving youth from all walks of life. Young people are silently struggling through a wide variety of challenging issues—and through the YFC ministry God empowers, they see the living power of a loving God. YFC trains its leaders in a proven, relational ministry model called 3Story®, which encourages staff and volunteers to be good news while also sharing the stories of the Good News of Jesus. It involves building relationships through the ups and downs of everyday life to lead people to Christ.
YFC has been a pillar of missional ministry since 1944, when the Rev. Billy Graham served as YFC’s first full-time staff member. Since then, Youth For Christ has continued to be both a rural and urban ministry on mission, and it is always about the message of Jesus. YFC reaches young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other like-minded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus who lead by their godliness in lifestyle, devotion to the Word of God and prayer, passion for sharing the love of Christ, and commitment to social involvement. Youth For Christ operates in over 100 nations and has 137 chapters that impact communities across America.
Visit the Youth For Christ media page. Learn more about Youth For Christ at its website, www.yfc.net, Facebook and Instagram pages, Twitter feed @yfcusa or on Vimeo.