Making a Difference to Kids


John (not his real name) is a quite thirteen year old who followed some of his friends to Wyld  Life camp this past summer.  On the second day of camp, following a discussion on family, John began to share the pain of a broken relationship.  When John was eight years old his father left his family.  The last memory John has of his father is that of an angry man yelling and throwing things around the house.  The last word John ever heard from his father was “stupid” as he threw John’s collection of Legos in the trash.  Five years later, surrounded in the safety of caring leaders at Wyld Life camp, John began to deal with his deep pain at the same time he was encountering the gospel.  Two worlds were on a collision course. 

In one world the most important man in John’s life defined his life as worthless.    In the other world John encountered the opposite message.  You are created and loved by the Creator of the universe…You are special…You are valuable…YOU ARE WANTED! 

John received this second message in a variety of ways that week.  The work crew and summer staff enthusiastically served each camper who crossed their paths.  Each night the camp speaker shared the basics of the gospel with all the campers.  Twice each day John’s leaders and cabin mates would discuss the speaker’s messages.  On the fourth night at camp John was given the opportunity to respond to God’s invitation, through Jesus Christ, to be in relationship – a difficult decision for a young man who learned early on not to trust.  That night, by the grace of God, John said yes to his heavenly father, the father who will never call him stupid, the father who will never leave him, the father who has a wonderful vision for his life.

Earlier that afternoon John’s leader sent the town runner to the store with a special order.  That night sitting on John’s bunk was a wrapped present, a gift from his heavenly father.  With tears streaming down his cheeks (and his leader’s face as well) John unwrapped and received his gift … a new tub of Legos.





Young Life Holland | 96 W 15th St Ste 108 Holland, MI 49423-3312

Phone: (616) 392-6555

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