Missions: Michelle Jankovich
August 2023 | Written by Michelle Jankovich,
Edited by Steve Moberg
Hi Gashland family!
For those of you who aren’t quite as familiar with Young Life, we are an organization that introduces adolescents to Jesus Christ and helps them grow in their faith. We seek to accomplish this by building relationships with kids – showing up, praying for them, doing life together, and earning the right to share the greatest news ever told about who Jesus is. We do this through contact work, Club, Campaigners, and camp.
Contact work is where leaders go and meet kids where they are: sporting events, plays, musicals, and anything that is important to them. Most of our students have never graced the halls of a church or don’t have a consistent faith background. Once we have established relationships with them, we invite them to Club and Campaigners.
Club is our bi-monthly big group meeting where kids can be exposed, maybe for the first time, to who Jesus is. We describe Club as “organized chaos” where they get to experience singing, dancing, laughing, games, and hear a message each time.
Campaigners is a bi-monthly gathering where kids want to further their relationship with the Lord. It consists of diving deeper into the Word and equipping kids to become disciples.
Camp happens once a year during the summer where we will travel to one of Young Life’s properties and spend the week with 300-400 other kids from across the country. Many kids describe this week as “the best week of their lives.”
We are about to kick off a new semester of Wyldlife and Young Life and couldn’t be more excited. Wyldlife is our ministry for middle school aged students, whereas Young Life serves the high school demographic. The Platte County Young Life area covers two school districts, including Park Hill with three high schools and four middle schools, and Platte County School District where we are in one high school. Our hope for this coming school year is that we would be launching a new ministry that would include students in the PC middle schools.
This summer was one to remember where we took 25 middle schoolers to a camp called Clearwater Cove that overlooks Table Rock Lake in southwest Missouri. We also took 40 high schoolers to a camp in Detroit Lakes, MN, called Castaway Club. Camp is an unbelievable experience for many kids who get a chance to connect with their peers and have conversations around Jesus in a more intimate setting, while getting to experience all the adventure God has for them on some of the most beautiful properties you can imagine. However, camp costs are continuing to go up and transportation prices as well, so we are hoping this year to run a few fundraising campaigns that raise money towards helping camp remain accessible to all without having financial limitations.
This coming school year we hope to explore some new events and activities that will reach more kids in new and fun ways. Our leadership team is continuing to grow and that will help expand how many kids we’re able to reach and disciple. We’re also excited about the chance to partner with some local church communities in running some after-school activities and create more safe spaces for kids to not only be supported in their faith, but also in their lives with school, home lives, and whatever comes next in life for them.
A few prayer requests for the next year are:
- More middle school specific leaders
- More male leaders at the high school level
- A central / neutral building that we can use for hosting some of our larger events, with the hopes to move Club outside of homes when possible
- Continued financial support so that we can hire more staff and keep our operating expenses intact
- The start-up of Wyldlife in Platte County School District
Thank you again for all your continued support of me personally and the ministry of Young Life. Without people like you coming alongside us, none of this would be possible. Blessings to you all!
Gratefully, Michelle Jankovich