Out with the Old...

The night we told kids the Easter bunny wasn't real…

The night we told kids the Easter bunny wasn't real…

… And in with the new. At Campus Life that means seniors are graduating and 8th graders are moving up into high school. We wish we could get rid of the “out with the old” part and just keep the “in with the new”. But unfortunately it doesn't work that way. 

The Old

It is scary watching our seniors take this next big step in their lives. Our prayer is for them to continue their journey with Jesus. Whether they are exploring what it means to follow Him, or are faithfully following Him, pray for them to grow. Please pray with us, that the new world ahead of them wouldn't distract them from the most important thing, and that they would seek Jesus in a world that wants nothing to do with Him. Pray they will be quick to repent and quick to forgive. And that they would live in freedom through Christ and live by faith through grace. That they would be His.

The New

It is also scary watching the mass of hyper-active 8th graders storming the castle of adolescence. The hope is that they will engage in Campus Life and make it their safe haven for the next 4 years. Pray these students would consciously decide that learning more about Jesus and walking with leaders that love them is a big priority for them in high school. Pray they would bring their insecurities, hopes, fears, and hearts to CL and in the process find Jesus.

YFC Camp

We would love for you to help us send students to camp to continue their journey with Jesus. It costs $650 to send a student to camp. Most students cannot afford that much. We need you. Will you help send a student to YFC Camp? You can send a check with Metamora Camp in the memo or you can go to yfcpeoria.org/camp

Seeking Help / Help Wanted / Help Needed / HELP…

Help …    We were hungry and friends bought us lunch!

Help … We were hungry and friends bought us lunch!

Have you ever been desperate for help?  I’m talking car wreck, tornado, lost kid, cancer? … Bad stuff.I pray shallow prayers when my kids are healthy, wallet is full, my wife thinks I’m “the man”, and all is well.

I pray earnest prayers when I’m in the Emergency Room, when finances are crushing, or when life’s struggles are more than I can bear or I lack hope to get through.

This fiscal year (YFC runs July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016), we’ve had remarkable things to celebrate. We know 1,110 teens. We’re in close relationship with 464 who are lost. Many of them are wrestling with Jesus. In fact 64 of them received Jesus Christ this year!!!

We’ve also had some low moments lately. YFC budget got really tight, such that we were struggling to choose from among paying staff, their healthcare, or our rent. I went into my “desperate prayer” posture. “Lord I need You. Oh. So. Badly. Oh Lord Jesus, we are asking for your people to be generous in helping us take the Great News of Jesus to 100’s of local teens.”

I sometimes wonder if God chuckles at the times when we don’t pray desperately. Truth is … I’m always desperate for the Grace of God thru Jesus. But I’m only aware of my desperation when life’s circumstances bump me around. I hate admitting how weak I am.

With your partnership, we walk with struggling teens. Suicidal thoughts, abusive homes, neglectful homes, imprisoned parents, addictions, more. Jesus’ love is needed. Desperately. 140+ local YFC adults are in the messes with teens. We point them to Jesus. As you Pray & Fund, you are there with us. 

Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

For the Kingdom



In all we do, we press on joyfully as we get a firsthand glimpse of watching the Kingdom of God unfold on earth. This has to be the greatest joy we have as we follow Jesus together; witnessing the Kingdom influence our family & friends directly is an incredible sight. 

The past couple of months, Sarah and I have considered the call of God on our lives as we continue to serve the Kingdom. We realized through the process, God was calling us away from Youth for Christ to serve in our local faith family.

We are excited and sad to share with you that we will be leaving YFC June 1, to join the staff at Crosspoint Community Church in Eureka, IL, where I will be serving the church as their student pastor. This is completely unexpected for me and it’s a direction we did not think we would be heading in, but we are excited to begin this journey together. 

Thank you. We are so grateful for all you have done with us in the ministry. Your prayers, encouragement, financial partnership, and wisdom helped make serving with JJM a possibility for us. I have learned so much about the faithfulness of God at YFC.

As we transition to Crosspoint for the Kingdom, we hope you will continue your role in JJM.

Thank you for your labor. 

As JJM continues…

God has and will continue to do much in the lives of incarcerated teens through JJM. Would you consider continuing your partnership? If this is something of interest to you, please meet our JJM Director CJ Fisher. He can be reached at cfisher@yfcpa.org or by phone at 847.302.8632. Thank you for being a part of this mission with me. For any changes to your EFT giving, you can email admin@yfcpa.org or 309-688-6685 and ask for Cindy or Jeff.

Sad Changes, God's Future

Ashleigh Shipley

Ashleigh Shipley

It is with a sad heart I announce Jon Watts is leaving our JJM Family. Jon has served YFC for two years; one with JJM and one in City Life. Jon and his family have answered God’s calling to serve their local church. Jon will be the student pastor at Crosspoint Community Church. 

With the announcement of Jon leaving we have some future plans and dreams I would like to share with you. Please take some time to consider how you could impact teens by jumping in or increasing your role.

MEET Ashleigh! She is from the land down under and likes to wrestle kangaroos. Just kidding about the kangas. Ashleigh is hoping to intern with JJM for the next year. We are seeking to raise matching funds to help bring her on board with our JJM team! Interested in helping? 

MEET Jay Hardin! Jay currently is a volunteer JJM Site Director for Peoria Juvenile Detention. With the news of Jon leaving we are seeking monthly support to help bring Jay on the team, part time or full time. Jay has experience working in the military, security, administration, and ministry. Jay is a great asset to our JJM ministry. Please consider helping to bring him on our paid staff, so he can focus more time and attention on this ministry. 

Thank you all for praying and supporting teens.

10 + 12 = 3,000+

No, I haven’t gone crazy or lost my mind. But I have done some math, and if everyone who supports JJM raises their monthly gift by $10/month, it would provide an extra $3,000+ each year.  The increase would provide food for mentees,  snacks for the Youth Farm and both Detention centers, expansion of JJM and more! 

Amazed by God

BLONO Dreams

BLONO Dreams

“Are you with Youth for Christ? Bloomington needs YFC!” This was my introduction to Andrew & Karen while sitting in the Bloomington Chick-fil-A.  They overheard me sharing with someone else that I am with YFC and am investing time in Bloomington to see if God has Kingdom work for us there.  They have joined our Launch Team.

Earlier I met with Drew & Kelly and heard their hearts for lost kids as they have been praying for God’s direction.  Kelly’s heart is for disenfranchised and trafficked teens and Drew wants kids to know the truth and love of Jesus.  They have joined our Launch Team.

My letter doesn’t have enough space for me to tell you all about Joe, Britt, Marjorie, Matt, Mandy, Jeff, Matt, Brad, Candice, Dustin and others who desire and are working toward a YFC launch in BLONO. (Bloomington-Normal)

Summer is around the corner. That means interns will join our team, YFC Camp will involve 200+, Justice Trip to Philly, campouts, special events, car washes, and lots of time with teens!  These are life-changing opportunities where God does amazing things.

God is at work…..thank you for your Kingdom partnership in making a difference in Central Illinois teens!

Please pray for these BLONO expansion needs:

  • 5-7 additional Launch Team members

  • 4-6 BLONO students to attend YFC Camp

  • Continued favor with more BLONO friends

  • Financial partners toward sustainable YFC BLONO ministries

Time with Students

Body Language

Body Language

The school year is wrapping up and summer is almost here. We have been spending a lot more time with students recently, ending the semester on a fun note. Through this time and the shared experiences it brings we remember how joyful it is to lead them each week. Sometimes we hang out together at the local ice cream shop or embark on a town wide scavenger hunt. Whatever it looks like, these experiences allow us to get to know and love the students we serve.
It is especially rewarding to sit back and see current students and faithful leaders connect and reach out to new students that come to Campus Life. We have been blessed this year with remarkable college age leaders who engage the lives of students. 

The ability to connect with students is limited for our leaders because they are hardworking college students trying to balance jobs, Campus Life and a full class load. Without the commitment of Christ-loving college students it would be extremely difficult to connect with all the students. 

As Campus Life transitions from the school year to summer fun, we are looking forward to being able to connect with even more students as school winds down for college students and hopefully more time opens up for us to have more life-giving experiences with Eureka students.

Thank you for praying and encouraging us as we do more ministry this summer. 

Dear Community, We Need You

We are looking to develop our Community Support Team. The Community Support Team is a group of local adults who guide and protect this ministry, as well as provide practical help with snacks & supplies, along with praying and investing financially so Campus Life becomes a sustainable ministry in Eureka.  

Contact Taylor with any further questions about the CST.

Neighborhood Hope Dealer

Keep Encouraging

Keep Encouraging

The other day someone told me a few teenagers they talked to, said I was the person they looked up to the most as a Christian. The humble side of me tried to play it off, but the hope dealer in me yelled “YES IT’S WORKING!”. Where many of us grew up, the people hurting the neighborhood were looked up to, because of all they owned and their lifestyle. Pimps, dope dealers, thugs, gamblers,etc were some of our heroes. 

In today’s HOOD, some have the same heroes but most of us have no hero’s. It’s getting harder and harder to find people we can model our lives after, who we believe are trying to do the right thing. One of my goals in ministry is to eliminate the excuse, “I don’t know a real Christian!” I try to live out loud in front of everyone in my path. I try to obediently let God use me to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. I try to stay open with my victories and failures, struggles and goals to help others see the hope and love that only comes from Jesus. Prayerfully, the youth will stop looking up to the DOPE dealer and instead follow me, the neighborhood HOPE dealer! I can truly said “Follow me as I follow God” because all my hope comes from Him.

It takes all of us to serve and lead our teens, and I am so proud to be on this team with you. Your prayers, funding, wisdom, and support push us forward in this mission! Hope for the hopeless is what we are trying to plant in the city. Thank you for all you do and live Romans 1:16!

Thank you to all who attended the Banquet

A special thank you to all who attended the City Life banquet! We give God all the glory for doing what He always does. It was a beautiful night and your prayers and support arehonoring God and reaching teens with this ministry!

Summer is Here

Jobs Partnership

Jobs Partnership

This past Monday night at club we had the opportunity to talk to our students about the LGBT community and God’s response to people who identify in this group. Our discussion that night really made an impact into how we ought to live with and treat members of the LGBT community.  Students had many questions, and the dialogue really stirred their hearts as they considered God’s heart.  

We are pleased to announce that City Life will have two summer staff joining our already amazing team: Karen Jackson and Matt Wallace.  Karen has served faithfully for the past 2 years as an adult leader in the ministry and will be diving-in even more this summer.  Meanwhile, Matt has just begun to discover what City Life is all about over this past month.  We are so very excited to have these two serving alongside us this summer and can’t wait to see how God will use these servants in the lives of students.  

Another amazing reality is that Jay Pearson will be easing back into ministry throughout the course of summer, coming back from lymphoma this past school year.  In honor of the hockey playoffs, we will be skating at full strength soon!  We invite your prayers this summer as we continue to pursue students with the love, grace, and truth of what it means to follow Jesus. 

Special Invitation to Give:

This summer we have two experiences we are hoping to bring City Life Students to:

  1. Justice Trip to Philadelphia (June 12-19)  cost per person $400

  2. YFC Camp to Lampe, MO (Aug 1-7) cost per person $575

Would you consider a special gift to send an urban teen on one of these trips?