Metamora Campus Life

If you could ask God one question…

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If you could ask God one question, what would you ask?” recently gathered with a group of 40+ local Middle School students and posed that question. Students wrote down questions on Post-It notes and stuck them to the wall. The questions ranged from the silly to the profound to the heart-breaking.

“Why do good people have to suffer?”

“Can I have a selfie?”

“Who made God?”

“What if Jesus was lying about being God?”

“How high can I jump off stuff?”

“What was your plan when my parents got divorced?”

“Is there anything you can’t do?”

“Why am I in the wrong body?”

My leaders and I took turns reading the questions and silently praying for these young students under our care. The rest of the night was spent helping them understand that God is not afraid of their questions. At the end of the night, we took time to answer some of their questions but most of them remained unanswered because of time constraints on the evening. 

If we’re honest, we all have unanswered questions about life and faith. Our hope is for the Metamora Teen Center to be a place where students will feel comfortable asking questions and finding answers. A place where students and adults will meet to share their faith stories and experience life together. A place where students will discover the ultimate answer to all of life’s questions - JESUS.

Thank you for your prayers & partnership as we take the next steps in providing this new Ministry Site for students.

Chris Genders

It’s all about relationships

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What would you say is the most important part of a ministry? Is it the programs? The trips and events? Although a ministry is made up of many parts, we have come to realize that there is one thing that towers above all else when it comes to effectiveness in ministry. It’s all about relationships. Whether we are talking about our relationship with the community, with our students, or our relationship with God, relationships shape and guide all we do in our ministry. Over the past few months, we have seen God work in all of these relationships. Our relationships with students deepened at YFC Camp, God provided new leaders in our mission, and we are seeing new opportunities arise from our community relationships as well!

The picture above is from YFC Camp this year. Camp seems to be the place where we see God move most, not only in our lives, but in students as well. This year we took 19 students and 5 leaders to camp. This week was packed with fun, but also with deep conversation between teens and leaders. Of course, this led many young people to grow closer to our leaders, but I was amazed to see how God used this to draw students closer to himself! Some have yet to say yes to Jesus, but we did see God stir in their hearts. I believe God has more planned for them this semester.

We recently kicked off our ministry for this semester, and already I’m hopeful to see what God has in store. Over half of the students at our kick-off were new and we had two new leaders join us for the first time! 

We long to see students come into relationships with loving Christian adults, and God is making this happen! Looking forward, I see relational ministry being the key part of our year, especially as we hold club at a new location! That’s right! The youth center is starting up, and we are looking forward to meeting and knowing more Metamora area teens.

Because of the growth in Metamora, we need your help. We desire that the plans before us would be fruitful, but we unfortunately cannot do this without people to fund what God is doing. Please consider joining us on this mission to reach lost teens in our community. There are many ways to be on the team, ranging from financial support, to supplying a meal. Please let me know if you would be willing to join us in any way! Please also join us in prayer for our leaders, our students, and for all Campus Life Ministry.

We cannot do His work without Him. Pray that our leaders would pursue their relationship with Jesus first, and through that be strengthened to do all that God is calling us to do.


The Summer of Relationship

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It’s crazy that we are already halfway through our summer in ministry! I have loved seeing our leaders love our students through our time spent with them. We have had many trips and events, along with club times and small groups, and through all this time new relationships are being formed! 

During the Starved Rock trip, I observed students and leaders talking about life and enjoying God’s creation together. Students loved taking risks, getting a little wet and dirty, and our leaders sacrificed themselves and joined them in the mud and mess. This observation led me to realize something about our adult leaders. Although we enter into a physical mess with students now and then, our leaders continually enter into the mess that our students are experiencing at this stage of life.

Although I love the times we get to start relationships and build on them through shared experiences, I’m even more excited about the conversations I have heard about during small group and club times. Recently, a leader told about a conversation she had with a student about their fears. This conversation helped reveal why the student acts the way she does. Her heart was drawn to what this student was dealing with, and she continues to walk with her through 1-on-1 appointments. Conversations like these are why we do what we do. Although there are times we get discouraged, God continually reminds us that he has placed us in these relationships for a reason.

I am so grateful for the ministry and relationships God has given us. But our team seeks more opportunities to build relationships and walk with our students. One of our greatest seasons for this work is coming up soon, YFC Camp! Although we need a bit more financial support to get our teens there, I also long to see our leaders and students surrounded in prayer during camp, and as we prepare to leave!

Please pray with us and also please consider an extra gift. Summer financial giving seems to dip slightly and our margins are tight.


Thank You!


What happens at YFC Camp?

We say that YFC Camp is a year’s worth of ministry packed into 1 week (144 hours with students!). We do crazy activities, sing songs, eat great food, and through it all, we present the Gospel and go deep into relevant life topics. Throughout the week, we  pray, cry, and laugh together. It is truly a life-changing week.

Please pray for us and our students, especially August 3-8th! 

God Is On The Move

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Lives changed, relationships built, growth seen. Through all we’ve seen this semester, the one thing I have realized is that God is on the move. We have continually seen him at work through all we have done.  At club, during events, in appointments, through small groups, and even during our partnered events such as Ice Camp, our team has seen God change lives. I have been amazed at how many unexpected deep conversations we have had. We know it is all because of God’s work!

The most amazing moment I observed in the past few months was God moving in students’ lives at Ice Camp. Partnering with Great Oaks, 67 leaders and students went to Miracle Camp and Retreat Center, excited for what God could do. Of course we had a blast with fun games and time together, and God was preparing hearts. Students began opening up about difficult things right when we arrived. It came to a culmination Saturday night, when students began to come forward, sharing joy they had been given, sin they were convicted of, and even deep pain in their lives. We watched students come together to encourage and support one another. The crazy thing was that it had very little to do with our plans! God was changing hearts! 

Since then, our team has continued to see God in many conversations. Whether we talked about the hope, joy, and peace we have in Christ, or the deep pain we experience, I am noticing that God is preparing us for something. I am so excited to see what he has planned! Please join us in prayer for the rest of this semester. Pray that we would follow Christ’s lead and speak what he is calling us to speak. After all, He is the one who changes hearts and lives!


YFC Camp - Carolina Point

This summer we are taking around 175 students and leaders to YFC Camp in North Carolina. This is a life-changing trip for every kid that comes. There are many new students who want to attend this year! We will have fundraisers and scholarships available, because the biggest obstacle for many students is the price-tag. It costs $525 for a student to attend for the week. Would you be willing to help sponsor a Metamora student to camp? Please contact me if you would like to help! Email. Phone. Text. Papermail. Any method works great!

In the Mess of it All

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I came across a phrase I believe exemplifies everything God has been doing in our ministry lately. “Find meaning in the mess”. Recently we’ve taken that quote literally, but it also applies figuratively! Between YFC Camp and our Campus Life Color War Kick-Off, we have literally been in the mess! It has been an incredible chance to connect with students and see God work in mysterious ways!

Last time I wrote you, we were headed to YFC Camp. I was excited about the week, but also had no clue what God might do! The first few days we really dove into the mess. Although we did dive into the mess of crud war (a giant food fight) and a mud obstacle course, I do not mean the literal mess. We dove into the mess of students’ lives. Almost every night, I would see the girls group up tears because of how God was moving in their lives. I found out that each night they had been diving into the hard things going on in their lives. That is what I call “the mess”. This was not only happening in the girls, but also with the guys! The guys may not have gone as the girls, but many of the guys also opened up about struggles in their lives.

We came home from YFC Camp and had a few weeks of relationship building times before our kick-off! Although we simply spent time getting messy with colored water, shaving cream, and flour, I was given a glimpse of what God has planned for this year! Please pray for this school year of Campus Life as we continue to dive into “The Mess” of life!

Please also consider your role financially, Metamora Campus Life received $59,303 last year, versus actual expenses of $72,000.

 

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

Fun Meets Mission

Driving already...

Driving already...

We had a CORE TEAM meeting last Wednesday that captured our heart at Metamora Campus Life. We spent half the meeting laughing uncontrollably and the other half talking about how we can reach more students for the name of Jesus.

The laughter originated from a new plan on how we will greet students on Monday nights as they arrive. The plan was to use an app that changes your name to a gangster name. A student will come in, give their name, and then receive a name tag with their gangster name on it. Turns out my gangster name is No-Pants Indian. Who knew? Next week will be viking names!

After we laughed our pants off for a while, we dug into a different aspect of our mission. How can we as a team refocus our hearts and minds to reach more students with the love of Jesus this semester? What students are we reaching? What students are we missing? Are we investing well in the students that are part of Campus Life? How can we bring new life in the dead of winter?

So as you pray for us pray for these things. Pray that through things like laughter and fake names we can reach more students with the love of Jesus.

                -Josh (aka No-Pants Indian)


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

Adult Leaders

Leaders in action!

Leaders in action!

Adult leaders are the heart of Campus Life ministry. Without them, Campus Life just doesn't work. Our goal is to help adult leaders build authentic Christ sharing relationships with students. We believe these relationships are where true ministry happens.

Are you one? We have a great team of adult leaders at Metamora Campus Life, they invest well, love well, and serve well.  However, we need more. More adults means more relationships, which means more students hearing about Jesus. If you have a heart for Jesus,  a heart for teens, and a heart to serve, we need you. Our students need you!

What would I do if I were an adult leader? Your role is to build relationships with students and invest in their lives. For our leaders that plays out in many ways:

  •    Campus Life small groups on Monday nights
  •    Weekly Bible studies on Tuesday and Thursday
  •    CL Cafe on Monday afternoons
  •    Events like: Afterprom, 5th Quarter, CLUBBLE…
  •    Being YFC Camp leaders
  •    Fall trip, lock ins, Ice Camp, 6 Flags

Who would I talk to if I were interested?Well, I am glad you asked! You can contact me, Josh Frederick, at 309.369.5881 or jfrederick@yfcpa.org .

I would love to talk to you!


Fall Fundraiser Banquet

Come join us for a night of celebration as we look back over this last year of ministry and look forward to the year to come! The banquet will be at Metamora Fields on November 12 at 6:30pm. Dinner is provided and we encourage you to invite a friend that has a heart for teens! There is no cost to attend. 

Please RSVP to Jill Gutwein at 309.256.8250 or jillsgutwein@gmail.com