Looking Back & Looking Forward

Posted on by YFC Seattle

September Ministry Update

The beginning of September is typically a time of looking back and looking forward. As we reflect back on the summer for Seattle YFC, it was not without its highlights.  The social distancing requirements of COVID-19 forced our staff to be incredibly creative with their approach to ministry, but a focus on smaller group activities has led to a depth of relationship that is difficult to cultivate through larger group activities.  Several of our staff say they’ve maintained better connections with their students this summer than they have previously. Yet looking back on the summer also causes us to mourn deeply.  On July 20th, two of our Casino Road students were shot in a random drive-by shooting.  Fortunately, they both survived but they were understandably traumatized by the event. During the same evening, another random shooting took the life of Adriel Webb, one of our South Seattle graduates.  The death of Adriel was absolutely devastating for all of us. 

As Chaffawn Smith wrote of Adriel, “Adriel always had a smile on his face...He was an amazing kid - never the one to be in to trouble.  Hearing that he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time is heartbreaking.” Adriel was a graduate of Seattle Urban Academy and was involved in our Cultured discipleship program.  He gave his life to the Lord during Winter Camp last March.  The timing of the COVID outbreak meant this was the last time our leaders saw Adriel face to face.

In the days and weeks after Adriel’s passing, Chaffawn and Mike Davis opened our South Seattle studio as a place for students to gather and join in grief together.  The congregation of Emerald City Bible Fellowship could not have been more supportive in the aftermath of this tragedy.

As Mike Davis was offering comfort students and walking alongside Adriel’s parents in the planning of multiple memorial services, he was also overcome with a deep desire to pray for his community.  One Friday night, Mike and a fellow youth minister committed to pray through their community from midnight to 8am.  They committed to meet at Emerald City Bible Fellowship then move every hour to a different hot spot known for violent activity.  Mike extended the invite to others but was expecting to be part of a two-person prayer team.  He was overwhelmed with gratitude when about a dozen prayer warriors showed up at midnight ready to intercede on behalf of their city.

As we enter a new school year under the most unusual of circumstances, we invite you to join us in prayer as well.  Join us in praying for students still mourning the loss of their friend.  Join us in praying for students whose mental health and academic potential have been negatively impacted by the events of the past several months.

As you pray for these students, we also invite you to pray for our staff, interns, and volunteers who remain committed to sharing the hope of Christ with students.  Pray that we would be faithful in providing places of grace and healing for young people forced to grow up too quickly. Pray that we would lean into faith rather than fear.
 

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