We see the hope and potential in every young person

Blog

Winter/Spring 2017

The calendar still says February, indicating that it is still winter. Winter is my least favorite season as it is cold, snowy and just typifies death for me. The vibrant colours of the other three seasons fade away until all we are left with are barren trees, limited signs of life and dark and gloomy skies. But this year, in spite of it still being winter, there are signs of life springing up. The days are brighter and full of sun, the temperatures are rising and signs of new life are popping up everywhere.

My lawn is still mostly dark brown patches of dead looking grass, but certain areas are already turning green. The warmth of the sun can be felt on the skin and the birds have begun to singing joyously in the trees and bushes around us. All of these signs of new life rising up from the dark colours of winter remind me of the lives of those we minister to at YFC/Youth Unlimited.

Many of those to whom our ministry is directed have the appearance of darkness and death to them. Not necessarily in their physical appearance, but in their attitudes and understanding of who they could be in Christ. We see such despair and lack of hope due to the difficulties and pains they have experienced in their still young lives. Sometimes it can be hard to look beyond what they allow us to see, but just as it takes time for nature to show signs of life through a long winter; many of the young people that we come across need time to let new life begin to take root in their lives.

They don’t instantaneously transform but slowly, over time, parts of them respond to the Son’s light; and we are blessed to see signs of new life peeking through. To be a part of the sowing and growing of this new life is a tremendous gift. Attitudes begin to change, smiles become more frequent, something new begins to appear, and that new life beginning to flourish is the grandest gift of all. Not all respond to these changes and sometimes those signs of life even seem to wither and die; but we never stop cultivating that new growth. Everything we do is to see God’s glory shine through changed lives as we come alongside others to encourage them to see the hope and potential within themselves. To see themselves as God already sees them.

As we enter the spring training part of our upcoming baseball season, it is with expectant hearts to once again see young peoples lives changed through God’s grace. We look forward to the upcoming season as we once again sponsor and coach two softball teams within the Niagara Falls Girls Minor Softball Association. We look excitedly to the new opportunity to have seven 15 minute radio spots on WDCX over the remainder of the year, with the purpose of sharing the vision and ministries of YFC/Youth Unlimited in the Niagara region. Our volunteers are anxious to once again reach out to the community through our water giveaways and other service initiatives we have planned for the year.

We are so thankful for the many people who partner with us and are currently supporting us both financially and prayerfully. If you are not currently a ministry partner, we would like to ask you to join us in that capacity this year. Our ministry is fueled by the support we receive from our like-minded partners. If you would like to discuss in more depth all of our ministry initiatives, or just to get together for mutual encouragement, please feel free to contact me at any time by email or phone. Thank you for being a part of this amazing ministry.

 

Blessings,

James Ball

Ministry Director

YFC/Youth Unlimited Niagara Falls