April 15th // Melinda Lucas

Posted on by SpokaneYFC

A couple of weeks ago I sat during our Wednesday morning staff meeting and listened as my co-workers lamented over the heartache that the kids we work with go through. The stories, feeling as though they had to have been written by a drama screenwriter, were too hard and real for me. They left me feeling shocked, saddened and heartbroken. I took in every word with the weight that it held. The abuse of parents, the seemingly never-ending cycles, the bullying, the lies all peppering these young lives as they are developing their understanding of themselves and world around them. I listened intently thinking to myself, I’m so thankful for the direct ministry staff and the leaders who volunteer to do the ministry they do – I’m not made to do what they do. 

As the meeting progressed my co-workers and teammates began expressing deep gratitude for the leaders that step into these kids’ world every week. They shared how these leaders love our YFC kids and simply ask themselves “how do I show love to these students?” with a mission to share the love of Christ with each and every kid they encounter.  The conversation started to take a turn towards, how do we find more leaders to lessen the burden? 

The conversation continuing, my wheels began turning as I processed such simple yet desperate appeals. Naturally I began to think of where we could go to ask for more help? Where could we turn to find more people willing to give up a few hours a week to spend with kids who just want someone to show up for them? I started to realize that I need to turn to myself first. Likely, one of the biggest things holding leaders back is having a mindset like mine.  

I excuse myself from direct ministry because, I’m too busy, I have too many responsibilities, I have my own kids to worry about, I don’t want to give up all of my time, the list goes on. Although all of these things are valid, they are not excuses. The phrase rose colored glasses comes to mind – simply because if you’re anything like me you see the need but are viewing yourself through a lens that is different than reality. Because the reality is – our youth just need people who will show up for them; someone who can show up once a week and hear about their lives, play some games or shoot some hoops.  

Confession – when I first started volunteering at YFC in 2011 I was terrified. I saw myself through a lens of a white college girl who had nothing in common with kids from West Central. I feared I wouldn’t be able to relate to them and therefore it would be a waste of time for everyone. I started showing up and volunteered to be the person who checked students in. Through this interaction I began to learn names, hear about kids days, and eventually their stories. To my surprise I had more in common with the kids I interacted with than I thought. The reality is deep down, we’re just like these kids who just want to be loved and accepted for who we are.

As I remember this truth I was brought to these verses in Galatians 5:13-14

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”” 

We are given total freedom, but in that freedom we are called to serve one another humbly – we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves.

I’m not one to typically write a call to action. That being said, I’ve looked at my own calendar and schedule and have realized that I could give a few hours a week to go hang out with kids who simply desire adults to care. How about you? Do you have time to go to one of our youth centers and simply just show up?

If you’d like to talk more about volunteering – I’d love to hear your story and get you connected to one of ministry directors. Please don't hesitate to reach out!

 Melinda first came to YFC, as many volunteers do, to earn credit for a college class she was enrolled in. She thought it would be a few months of commitment, just a page or two in her story, but going on 6 years later she is now on staff full time. God’s story for Melinda had a lot more to do with YFC than she could have ever imagined. Finding great passion in supporting and encouraging leaders and staff at YFC, she spends her time keeping the ministry running smoothly as the Director of Business Operations. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her husband, play with her energetic puppy, bake (especially cakes), play Settlers of Catan, and spend time with friends & family. 

 

Start a conversation with Melinda here.
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