I am a youth group director of a small church in Virginia Beach. I began my youth leadership with this church in September of 2013 but was hired as a youth director in January 2014. When I started leading the youth we only had 1 kid that came on Sunday nights. This was so heart breaking because there are kids that attend the church but they were not involved in the youth program. Once I was hired, I was able to reach out to kids that attended my church but did not go to the youth program. We immediately built up our base from 1 youth to about 6, but my goal was 15 kids in 3 months. It has been 4 months and we now have over 23 kids each week! It grew so much.
One of the reasons I believe that it grew was our focus on mission work. In January our kids made over 75 Agape bags for homeless people in Hampton Roads. These are bags that are to give to the homeless when you see them on the side of the road while driving. The bag's contents include- water bottle, socks, soap, beef jerky, a razor, crystal light lemonade, a bible verse, and directions to my church as well as hours for our food pantry. My youth made these bags with love and were thrilled at how many lives we could touch.
After about 2 months- we have given out over 100 bags to local homeless people who absolutely adore the contents of the bag. Each week- almost daily- one of my youth kids call me to tell me who they touched with the Agape Bag that day.
I understand, because when I was driving to Liberty Tax, my first day on the job, I was able to give 2 homeless men a bag to help care for their needs. They were so grateful. Today I passed one of the men that I gave a bag to a few weeks ago and he flagged me down at a stoplight with a huge smile on his face. He lifted his jeans to show me that he was wearing the socks we gave him and with a grin he said- John 3:16!
Each of my youth kids have stories such as these. It's amazing how agape love spreads throughout our community. We are making 200 bags next weekend and are looking forward to fanatically giving these bags to those who are most deserving.