Young Life – Vida Joven

May 12, 2012 by Dottie Homeyer

I’d like to share with you a message of hope that is happening to the youth of Puerto Peñasco, Mexico because of Young Life (Vida Joven). Since 1941 Young Life has been making a difference in the lives of teenagers around the world. Young Life is in more than 70 countries around the world, offering hope with spiritual values to millions of teens each year regardless of ability, race, religious tradition, or culture. Puerto Peñasco is privileged to have the first YL Club in all of Mexico. The YL Club started with the efforts of some Arizona parents two years ago. They looked around the town and realized there were not many activities for the local teens, and decided to make a difference.

Young Life doesn’t start with a program. It starts with adults who are concerned enough about the local kids to go to them, on their turf and in their culture, building bridges of authentic friendship. These relationships don’t happen overnight. They take time, patience, trust, and consistency. With the leadership of Alberto and Loly Martinez the Puerto Peñasco YL Club has prospered.

In March of 2011 the second Young Life Vida Joven camp was held at the One Mission facility just outside of town. Of the 40 campers, 16 young adults made the decision to follow Jesus, while other students who knew about the Lord reaffirmed their commitment. Since the moment they arrived at camp there were smiles on their faces as well as questions as to what this weekend was all about. Rebecca, from the Dominican Republic, was the main speaker. She made an inspiring presentation to lead the campers into making a decision to change any destructive lifestyles, as well as sharing the hope they could have in Jesus. These camp experiences can be life changing. One teenager shared that if it hadn’t been for this weekend, she would have probably taken her life because her suicidal thoughts would not go away. Another camper stated, “I don’t need drugs to feel this way. I have answers to many of my questions and it’s all about Jesus.”

YL believes in the power of presence. Kid’s lives are dramatically impacted when caring adults come alongside them, sharing God’s love with them. Because their Young Life leader believes in them, the kids begin to see that their lives have great worth, meaning and purpose. Each week these kids meet at a local house for games, crafts, sports, and hanging out time with a positive message. Loly has recently started an off-shoot group called Young Lives which involves single teenage mothers. At a recent gathering she had twelve young mothers meeting and discussing issues related to childcare.

More than ever we need partners in the mission of Puerto Peñasco Young Life. Judging from the Christmas event in which over 95 students participated, we are anticipating an increase of teenagers for the March 2012 camp. Would you please consider partnering with us? If 30 families would commit to $25.00/month we would be able to meet all the expenses for the Puerto Peñasco Club.

Would you consider helping our kids have a life changing experience by making a donation to:

Young Life Puerto Peñasco X399,

PO Box 520,

Colorado Springs, CO. 80901

OR…Give on line at

www.younglife.org

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