City Life | Jay

Body Builders Mission Trip

Version 2

Psalm 127:1 says,”Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” That’s how our newest City Life adventure (the above group plus two people not pictured) took us to the South Miami community of Homestead,FL. The trip was named for our efforts to serve with our YFC City Life family and The Movement Church. Corey and Robin Sanders have been connected with YFC Camp for more than a decade and planted a church four years ago. Praying and planning, we wanted to expose our teens to travel (a 5 a.m. bus from Bradley to O’Hare, security, boarding, not to mention the flight), as 9 of the 13 had never been on a plane. Experiencing the beauty and culture of places they have only seen on TV, and encouraging our teens to connect with the Body was our goal. This revealed who God created us to be when we are kingdom-minded in our efforts, as well as advancing the Gospel in word and deed by serving other communities and our YFC/Movement family.

Our team took on projects at West Homestead K-8, refreshing their raised planting beds to encourage class projects for their students. At the Police Athletic League  Center, we cleaned storage/laundry areas, rearranged table, chairs, and supplies for their after school program in the main gym, and outside the center we scraped and repainted backboards. We also served at “The Table,” a free meal in the park outside of the PAL center. During the event we watched 12-15 young people shooting baskets at the pole the backboards should have been on, so we knew that project would serve that neighborhood in a mighty way. Touching Miami With Love has an after school program that serves the neighborhood. We painted and created sound reducing panels in their building. At KIX, a YFC teen center, we spent a day promoting and setting up for a free community concert with Pastor Corey, Fro, and local Gospel rappers. The event was packed with different youth organizations and teens from the neighborhood, a powerful night of truth and music.  

After days of projects and events, creating and building relationships, we enjoyed a free day to take in the culture. We started the morning on South Beach, then experienced Cuban food and Caribbean music. We shopped at an outdoor mall in downtown Miami next to where the Miami Heat play, which was an awesome place to get all of that. 

Bodybuilders’ goal of impacting the future leaders of our community and allowing us to share God’s incredible love with everyone involved was a priority for us.

Thank you for your continuous love and support as we journey near or far to the places God shows us. Be assured that discipleship is happening in all we do!

LIGHT BULBS IN THE DARK

PCL.jpg

One night as I was walking half asleep, I kicked a bag full of lightbulbs that a family member left in the hallway. After a discreet whimper of pain, and resting my foot for a few minutes, my thought was, “Lightbulbs don’t work well if they aren’t connected.” The very thing they were created for, and were needed for, failed to happen, because they weren’t connected to the power source. Dealing with today’s youth, their idea of connection is having their phone charger with them at all times. As soon as they get anywhere they are searching for an outlet and asking for the WiFi password,  which makes me think they get the idea of connection but most don’t know the true power source.

John, the beloved disciple, in John 15:5 explains the true source with “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  Jesus was very clear and City Life is devoted to the mission of connecting the next generation to the ONLY power source that will guide, protect, and light the path God has planned for them.   The word of God calls us the children of the light. As we shine in the presence of teens, and stress how important this connection is through the teaching of the Gospel, we believe there will be brighter days ahead. 

Lightbulbs, like people, can’t fulfill their purpose if they are not connected to the right power source and we can’t light the way as God is commanding us. The old joke,”How many people does it take to screw in a lightbulb,” well my answer is all of us! Thank you for teaming with us as we help teens shine brighter than ever. John continues in 15:6 with, ”If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” True connection not only changes but saves lives! With God’s power, passion, and purpose, lets light the path to the source for others to get connected. 

Live Romans 1:16


Support our Bodybuilders Mission Trip

April 15th-20th in Homestead, FL

We hope to bring 21 teens & leaders to help The Movement church relocate & minister to the homeless population of their community, connecting with our YFC/City Life family in Homestead. Price per person is $578, but Teen’s cost is $300. Please pray about investing an extra $25, $50, or $100 to this life changing adventure.

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!

His Puzzle Pieces

My wife is a puzzle person and I watch her collect, turn, and imagine where the pieces all go. I know the box has the picture on the front, but with all the pieces in a pile, I can’t see it. My wife has completed many puzzles in her life and has developed the skills to understand the process. Patience to group the similar pieces together, and figure out what parts of the puzzle she can put together first.

In recent months, God has set me in front of a 1,000 piece puzzle with no box and is guiding me to what the picture should look like. I am not a puzzle person but GOD IS and He is giving me a glimpse of His glorious picture. My relationships with City Life leaders and teens, fundraising, community meetings, and a God-size vision that is challenging me to trust Him are the various pieces of the puzzle I am trying to put together. The Holy Spirit is guiding my hands to place the pieces slowly. The puzzle is a long way from being completed. Trusting and resting in God gives me the perseverance to fit in where I should, because I’m a piece of the puzzle too.

Ephesians 3:20-21 says “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Please pray these verses with me, that I will trust God to see what the picture will look like.


As 2015 ended, we told all who would listen, “YFC finances are behind”. We prayed and we asked for a generous December. And Then … It Happened. People gave a bunch. We finished our 1/2-year budget of $485,000 ahead by 2%. Thank you, friends. Thank You, Jesus! We hope you will continue generously, because Jan-March income is typically lower than the rest of the year. Wow. That was big. Happy New Year!!!

- Dan L

Grass, Bar Crawls & Girls

GIRLS

GIRLS

WOW. That sounds like the life of young Jay Pearson!!! My daily focus was all wrong when I was listening to my flesh and dating this fallen world. Curiously in the beautiful summer of 2015 these things are part of my daily focus again! Please relax and let me explain. 

With many YFC Camp fundraisers, relationship building times, and awesome small groups, our City Life days are filled with things you might question at 1st glance. Grass cutting is an awesome chance to teach young men safety first, save some money, reach your goals, and even how to cut grass. If your family has never owned a home you may not know how to use a lawnmower. Our annual Ice Cream Bar Crawl is one of the best times to just be silly and make ourselves sick, trying to eat as much ice cream as we can! We travel to 6-7 different ice cream shops and laugh, burp, and take pictures at every stop of the journey! On a less fattening note, we are leading male & female small groups that are focused on strengthening relationships and spending quality time in the Word of God. Every Thursday these groups play and study together with great leaders by their side.

God’s Word says “Work while it is light”, “Break bread together” , and “the older men and women teach the younger men and women”.  We are focusing on that daily, with the cry of Psalm 34:8 

“Taste and see that the Lord is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!” 


What is City Life?

City Life is an effective ministry model to transform the lives of urban youth, their families and the communities that they live in. The City Life model provides a strategic way to pursue every young person in urban communities all over the USA.

"Give them the finger!!"

“Not much left on the outside to represent who you think you are” was a recent thought I had after having a conversation with leaders about why everyone is using different fingers to identify themselves. To us some are obscene and most are made up as they go. I will always throw up the “W” to represent that I’m from Woodruff and admit I have taught many others to do the same. I’ve been through the same phase of life I am talking about but now I know MY true identity today comes from Christ Jesus and that’s the truth City Life is trying to share! Many generations have been caught up identifying themselves with clothes, hair-dos, language, hand shakes, and fingers. While the outside may look cool, the inside is broken into many pieces. God is the only one who can put back together this million piece puzzle. 1 Peter 2:29 says, But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Along with that John 14:6 says, Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Sharing truth to help the teens God has allowed us to walk with is a honor and we thank you for being on mission with us! Showing them that God truly loves them and everything they are looking for is in Jesus Christ. I praise God we knowing who we are and Him using us to tell the next generation the Good News. Please always use your finger to point them to Jesus!