Youth for Christ auction raises over $65,000
Michael Yoder, South Adams High School Youth for Christ director, was both humbled and excited at the response of area businesses and individuals in creating a team of support for YFC at Saturday's major auction that was held at the Wells County Fairgrounds.
Yoder noted that Saturday's effort raised just over $65,000 towards the general fund of YFC in the local area. Funds generated will go towards staff support and the task of raising support to send directors to school positions where there has not been enough funding to support full-time workers.
"Great," is the word Yoder used to describe Saturday's auction. "We had a wonderful turn out, more people than I ever remember. This will go towards the general fund to help support staff. It also goes into a YFC fund created to raise money for schools that don't have any YFC directors."
Saturday's auction covers YFC work in Jay, Adams and Wells counties. Another auction that will be held in Marion will primarily go towards support in the developing work in Grant and Blackford counties. Yoder noted that the total goal combining the two auctions is $90,000.
Those schools that currently have both high school and middle school directors include South Adams, Adams Central, Norwell, Southern Wells and Jay County high schools. Those with high school directors alone include Bellmont and Bluffton high schools. Other schools in transition include Eastbrook and Marion high schools.
"Even though the economy has still been down, it has been a good year for us," said Yoder. "We've had great support from individuals and many area businesses. It is evident that if people really believe in an organization, they will sacrifice to give and support."
Over 1,000 items and gift certificates were donated toward the auction.
"We are thankful for the financial support, but the real purpose is to raise support so that we can keep reaching kids to come to Jesus," said Yoder, "These items represent the prayers and support of many people. The prayers of God’s people are the most powerful support of all."
Yoder heads up the high school work at South Adams and Eric Lehman heads up the middle school work. At Adams Central, Dan Herring heads up the Youth for Christ effort.
Yoder said that YFC staff members meet with a core of student leaders at South Adams for breakfast on Friday morning. Monday nights, Campus Life meets in the homes of different students involved with YFC. In addition, leaders are constantly available for students that would like to talk or that need encouragement.
"We go to lunches and into the libraries to be available for the kids," said Yoder. "We live our lives with the students where they are."
Also, two community prayer rallies are organized each school year, one at the beginning of the year and another at the beginning of the second semester.
"All of Berne comes together to pray for our young people," said Yoder.
Yoder noted that YFC officials and church youth pastors are currently in the process of organizing a two-day rally for area youth.
The director cited an example of a youth who came to him to pray for spiritual healing and to ask Jesus into his life. Within two weeks, Yoder said, that youth led another young person to Christ.
"That's what it's all about, to reach kids for Christ and then for them to reach out and lead others to Christ, disciples making disciples," said Yoder. "Kids' lives are changed and they reach out to others whose lives are changed and they gain the fire and passion to reach others. It's God touching the lives of ordinary people where they are and using them to reach others around them."
"We are so blessed," said Lehman of the auction. "People donate to us and then they come buy. Someone donates a $50 gift certificate for a restaurant and somebody else comes along and buys it for $60 or $70. Why do they do that? They do it because they believe in the mission of Youth for Christ."
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