“The message of Pentecost is you are important to God. Your distinctiveness is valued- God knows you so well that he speaks your language! This is true intimacy, and the foreigners gathered in Jerusalem were stunned that God would choose intimacy with them.” -The Heart of Racial Justice by Brenda Salter McNeil and Rick Richardson
For the last two years when asked what I am most excited about in Young Life one of my first responses is Vida Joven in Westfield. I have been grateful for the hard work that Joe Snyder, Sarah Kjeldsen, Lizbeth Barjas and others have been doing in playing out Young Life’s mission that believes that all kids deserve a chance to hear and respond to the gospel. Vida Joven is simply Young Life in spanish for English as Second Language students who speak spanish.
Vida Joven was born out of a recognition that as we existed there was a whole group of kids at Westfield HS who weren’t going to come to Young Life. So Sarah, Joe, Lizbeth and others did what we do in Young Life and they brought Young Life to those kids. They brought it to them physically by meeting in the school and they brought it to them culturally by speaking spanish.
Last year Lizbeth led a parent meeting with all spanish speaking moms and dads. One mom said “We love Vida Joven because my daughter wants to go to church with us for the first time” Another said “We love Vida Joven because we trust the leaders.” Two years ago Lizbeth came to me with her dream to replicate what Westfield YL has done with Vida Joven in every school where we have YL in Indianapolis. Over the last two years I have fallen for this dream and fallen for Lizbeth as the person to lead this endeavor. This is a crazy dream and a crazy prayer, which are the most exciting kind. I believe thoroughly in who Lizbeth is and who she can become and I am thrilled that we get to be a part of that.
Lizbeth graduated from Anderson University with a double major this May and beginning July 1st Lizbeth Barajas will come on staff with Young Life and I couldn’t be more excited. Lizbeth and I still have a lot of money left to raise but through some generous pledges we have enough of a start to believe this is a sustainable position.
Click below to see a video of Vida Joven.
Click to read more about the plan: Lizbeth Barajas Proposal
Contact me if you want to be a part of this dream in any way; firstname.lastname@example.org
Central Indiana Young Life Dream
Every level of Young Life would represent the demographics of the geography we serve
(Kids, Leaders, Staff, Committee)