FT. WAYNE — For Youth For Christ (YFC, www.yfc.net), a fixture in the youth ministry community in America for the past 77 years, their mission to come alongside young people in pivotal moments and commit to living life with them has always had global implications. One chapter, YFC BIGJAWs in Bluffton, Indiana, has recently gained an international reach by partnering with Youth for Christ International and making India their 30th site.
Celebrating 30 years of ministry this year, YFC BIGJAWs—which stands for Blackford, India, Grant, Jay, Adams, and Wells, as the five Indiana counties their ministry reaches in addition to the country of India—is pleased to be working with youth not only in their local community but all over the world.
“This is an exciting endeavor for us and involves some out-of-the-box thinking,” YFC BIGJAWs Executive Director Ryan Biegel commented. “We are truly excited to adopt India into our chapter of ministry.”
This innovative project originated with Josh Seder, the chief financial officer of YFC BIGJAWs. Seder stated, “A couple of years ago, my wife and I adopted a little girl from India, and through that process, we met the country director for YFC India. After talking with him and learning more about what they are doing in India, I realized that kids are kids, whether they are in the United States or if they’re in India—they all have the same need and desire to belong, and YFC gives people that. It gives people a chance to belong and realize that they are a part of God’s family.
“Through this partnership, they are becoming part of us and we are becoming part of them, and this partnership will serve to carry to Gospel forth.”
Seder continued, “As of right now, we can only reach 144,000 kids through YFC India, which is half of a percent of all the 11-19 year-olds in the whole country. The opportunity for expansion in this area is huge, and there are so many more kids that can be told about the hope, the truth, and the saving grace of Jesus Christ.”
YFC chapters impact thousands of communities across the nation, seeking out and serving youth from all walks of life. Young people are silently struggling through a wide variety of challenging issues—and through the YFC ministry God empowers, they see the living power of a loving God. YFC trains its leaders in a proven, relational ministry model called 3Story®, which encourages staff and volunteers to be good news while also sharing the stories of the Good News of Jesus. It involves building relationships through the ups and downs of everyday life to lead people to Christ.
YFC has been a pillar of missional ministry since 1944 when the Rev. Billy Graham served as YFC’s first full-time staff member. Since then, Youth For Christ has continued to be both a rural and urban ministry on the mission, and it is always about the message of Jesus. YFC reaches young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other like-minded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus who lead by their godliness in lifestyle, devotion to the Word of God and prayer, passion for sharing the love of Christ, and commitment to social involvement. Youth For Christ operates in over 100 nations and has 137 chapters that impact communities across America.