Dear Humanitarian Aid Fund Friends:
Central Ohio Youth for Christ sincerely thanks you for your generous support of our mission to reach young people throughout Central Ohio. The gift of the Humanitarian Aid Fund helps to support our various outreaches to teens in many different contexts: urban, suburban, incarcerated and trafficked. And through these ministries, we presented the gospel to more than 1,500 teens with more than 280 of them choosing to begin a relationship with Christ.
I’d like to share about one of our programs that is having a significant impact – our Juvenile Justice Ministries. YFC facilitates the chaplaincy program in the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center and the Multi-County Juvenile Detention Center in Fairfield County. YFC staff and volunteers meet individually with these incarcerated teens to discuss their situation and how Christ can help them choose a new and positive direction for their lives. We find that many of these hurting teens readily respond to Christ’s message of grace and forgiveness.
“Trey” is a young man who spoke with one of our chaplains. Notice in his story below how God’s message of hope dramatically transformed his outlook on life:
“When the detention center guards led me to the isolation area to speak with Trey, I was not sure what to expect. All I knew about this young man was that he was 16, and, while trying to shoot someone else, had accidentally shot himself.
“I settled in on a chair in the hallway outside the open door to his room. Trey perched on his bed, just inside the doorway. My first impression was that Trey looked like he was in a lot of pain - both physically and emotionally. As we talked, he told me he was very glad he didn't hurt someone else. He felt guilty and it was clear he was sensing his need for help and forgiveness. When the time was right, I shared with Trey that God loved him in spite of everything. Jesus wanted to forgive him and make him God's child. A very sober Trey trusted Christ that day!
“A couple of weeks later I decided to check in on Trey, who was still healing and in isolation. When I knocked on his room door, he opened it and announced that he had been reading his Bible. Trey was smiling - something I hadn't seen during our first encounter. I asked how he was doing, and he said he was doing great! He named a few books he had read that are specifically targeted towards Christian teens in detention. He told me he gave one of the books away after he read it. ‘It was too good not to share!’
“The whole time we talked, Trey had this amazing smile on his face. He told me that all he could think about was how grateful he was to God. He just kept thinking about what I'd told him after he prayed to receive Jesus - that he was God's child now! What a change from the dejected, worried and scared kid I'd met two weeks ago.”
If you’d like to volunteer for our Juvenile Justice Ministries, call our office at 614-848-4870 or visit our website at www.coyfc.org. We’ll connect you to the JJM staff and answer any questions you may have.
Thank you so much for your investment in Central Ohio Youth for Christ through the Humanitarian Aid Fund.