The lazer lights danced off of the smoke that filled the crowded gymnasium. It smelled like 500 preteens and sounded like a party. There were only two songs left before it was my turn to go on stage and my phone was buzzing in my hand.
I had spent hours the day before researching youth emergency shelters in the lower mainland. Starting at 7am that morning I began calling those shelters to try to reserve a bed for a youth for that night. And now, two songs before I was to share Jesus to a camp of middle schoolers they were calling me back. I ran outside so I could hear them. Excited to have found a safe place for my teen to sleep that night, I went back into the gym in time to walk right on stage and preach the last message in my series that weekend.
Am I a youth worker or a missionary? It’s a question we often end up asking ourselves in Youth Unlimited/Youth For Christ. Even our split-personality name indicates the dilemma. The answer is simple: both. The gospel of Jesus is of hope for the hopeless. Sometimes hope looks like a spiritual commitment, other times it looks like a hot meal. Our mandate is to love people with the love of Christ. That day a teenager had a safe place to sleep, and hundreds of kids took a pledge to follow Jesus. In two very different ways the kingdom was built that day. And I think God smiled at it all.

- Carmen  Rempel


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