March 15th // Kris Grant

Posted on by SpokaneYFC

City Ride: The Impact of Partnership

One of the key components of YFC’s mission statement is working with like-minded partners within the community to raise up lifelong followers of Christ. Serving as the City Life Director in the Hillyard neighborhood has opened my eyes to the fact that the students we work with need multiple streams of positive influence in their lives to break free from the cycle of poverty that many were born in to. I’ve also learned that when you get a group of like-minded individuals that have a passion for reaching kids for Jesus, amazing things can happen.

This year's City Ride Camp is the perfect example of what can happen when multiple organizations come together to provide kids with an unforgettable experience in the mountains. City ride has been an annual trip that takes place in March that pulls together organizations like YFC, Snowboarders, Skiers (SFC), Mt Spokane, and Young Life to give kids from inner-city neighborhoods the chance to learn how to ski or ride.

City Ride started with a once a month trip to Mt Spokane to go night skiing with a couple of students. After some time it morphed into a retreat. The first year we took roughly 20 kids with a few leaders for a full weekend of skiing or snowboarding. By God’s grace, every year for the past couple of years, City Ride has grown, and this year we were able to bring 47 students, 20 leaders, and coaches up to Mt Spokane for an incredible weekend full of God’s beauty and grace.

Skiing and snowboarding are sports that aren’t normally accessible to many of the kids we work with. The amount of money it takes to get passes and the necessary gear makes it very difficult for inner city kids to experience the mountains in that way. Without local partnerships, YFC would not be able to provide such an amazing experience for our students. With help from SFC and Mt Spokane, we are not only able to offer them a chance to ski and ride, but we are also able to offer this opportunity to our students for only $10.

SFC works hard each year to put together a team of coaches and to gather enough gear and outerwear so students would be able to be warm (and look stylish) while learning a new sport on the mountain. Mt Spokane has been incredibly generous and provides us with free lift tickets, free rental gear, free lessons for first-timers, and this year they even reserved a section of the lodge for us so we could all eat together.

With organizations like SFC and Mt Spokane taking care of so many of the logistics it frees up YFC and Young Life leaders to focus on recruiting and building relationships with kids. Shared experiences like City Ride act as a catalytic experience that propels leaders to have Christ sharing relationships with students.

Watching City Ride grow over the last few years has been an incredible experience. It truly is a weekend where students get to hear and see the Gospel. This year, Jason Soucinek from Project Six19 served as our camp speaker, and he did an amazing job of portraying the Gospel through a series of talks. The talks culminated in mountain top church in the Vista House at that top of Chair 1 at Mt Spokane. Beyond that, I also know that kids experienced the Gospel through the beauty of the mountains, the challenge of trying something new, and the love of their leaders cheering them on.

I am so thankful for like-minded partners within our community that want to see kids reached for Jesus. City Ride is an amazing example of what can happen when different parts of the body of Christ come together to communicate a message of love and provide kids with an out of this world experience.

 

Kris Grant
City Life Director / Hillyard

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