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The Streger family has recently announced that both Kyle and Brittany will become Full Time YoungLife Staff members. They are responsible for raising all funds to pay their salaries. In order to be on Young Life staff in Collierville, Brittany will need to raise $30,000 in personal support. They have two beautiful twin girls, Cooper and Haddie, and have their hands full to say the least. They are taking a complete jump of blind faith to serve in this local ministry.
Brittany Streger’s Story
I grew up attending many different churches and thought that I had a good understanding of what it meant to follow God. However, once I met my Young Life leader I soon began to realize that I had missed something big. For me, God was something, not some one. He was something that I could reference around my leaders and my church friends, but someone that I forgot about on the weekends. As I began to grow closer to my leader, she began to show me God in a way that I had never seen Him. Instead of God being someone reminding me of all the things that I shouldn’t do and feeling like I would never measure up to who He wanted me to be, I began to realize that He loved me for me- who I was and where I was. My life was forever changed. My leader invested in me in a way that I could not help but want to invest in others the same way. I want them to experience God moving in their lives and to truly understand how much He desires to be in a relationship with them. I have known since high school that I wanted to be a Young Life Leader, and it brings me such joy, after 8 years of being a volunteer leader, to finally be a part of the Young Life staff.
Young Life in Collierville, T.N., is made up of 5 schools. The schools in this area include Collierville High School, St George’s Independent School - Upper, Collierville Middle School, St. George’s Independent School - Middle, and Schilling Farms Middle School.
The leaders in the Collierville area consist of young professionals and college students. There are four staff members in the area. Collierville High School is the only public high school in Collierville, Tennessee and has almost 2,500 students. My role would be to head up Collierville High Young Life, as well as Wyldlife at Collierville Middle School and Schilling Farms Middle School.
Young Life doesn’t start with a program. It starts with adults concerned enough about kids to go to them, on their turf and in their culture, building bridges of authentic friendship. These relationships don’t happen overnight — they take time, patience, trust and consistency.
So, Young Life leaders log many hours with kids around the world — where they are, as they are. Leaders faithfully attend football practices in the Minneapolis suburbs, mingle with teenagers at a mall in Stockholm and play pick-up soccer with former child-soldiers in Liberia. We listen to their stories and learn what’s important to them because we genuinely care about their joys, triumphs, heartaches and setbacks.
We believe in the power of presence. Kids’ lives are dramatically impacted when caring adults come alongside them, sharing God’s love with them. Because their leader believes in them, they begin to see that their lives have great worth, meaning and purpose.
This is the first step of a lifelong journey; the choices they make today, based upon God’s love for them, will impact future decisions … careers chosen, marriages formed and families raised. All ripples from the time when a Young Life leader reached out and entered their world.
Who is Young Life for?
Everyone is welcome in Young Life! Our programs are custom made for kids throughout their adolescent years. Young Life is the name of our organization and is also the term we use for our program with high school students. We call our middle school program WyldLife. The initiative for college and university students is called Young Life College.
Young Life’s multicultural ministry, focused on kids in diverse cultural communities and those in economically-depressed areas, is arguably the largest of its kind in the United States. We refer to our ministry to kids with disabilities as Capernaum and to our work with teen moms as YoungLives. In a partnership with Military Community Youth Ministries, Young Life reaches military teens through a program called Club Beyond. The Small Towns initiative brings Young Life to communities of fewer than 25,000 people.
A Time-Tested Approach
Young Life began with a few simple ideas about sharing the truth of God’s love with adolescents. Those simple ideas have become time-tested methods for reaching out to middle school, high school and college students in friendship and hope.
Caring for Kids — Contact Work
Because kids don’t care how much you know till they know how much you care, Young Life leaders show they care by going where kids are, meeting them as they are, believing in who they can be. Within Young Life we call the persistent going out into the world of kids “contact work.” But kids just call it friendship.
A Party with a Purpose — Club
What is it about Young Life club that makes it the best night of the week for thousands of kids every week? We like to think of it as a party with a purpose. It’s controlled chaos that’s almost impossible to describe, but kids know it when they see it. And before the party ends, we share a simple message about God’s love for them. After all, that’s what the celebration is all about.
The Best Week of Their Life — Camp
Kids consistently tell us that Young Life camp is the best week of their life. That’s a rousing (and unsolicited) endorsement! But how else would you describe a week where deep relationships are forged in the midst of mind-boggling fun and where you experience and listen to what we believe is the greatest love story ever told?
A Time to Question, Learn and Grow — Campaigners
Campaigners is a weekly gathering for kids who wish to learn more or grow in their faith through study, service and leadership. We invite kids to actively follow Jesus Christ — and we’re with them for the long haul to help them take those steps of faith with unconditional love. Along the way, we encourage kids to celebrate their faith through participation in a local congregation.
Adults Who Care — Committee
Young Life is making a difference in the lives of kids around the world because we are supported by adults who care about kids in their community. For every talented Young Life staff person, there is a team of dedicated leaders who works directly with kids. In each community, the local “committee,” comprised of parents, Young Life alumni and civic leaders, provides a foundation of financial, administrative and moral support for the local Young Life team.
Cancer can take a Girl's Hair, but Don't take away her Lipstick!!" Status: $4,860 of $15k goal
In January, Kim began her 2nd battle with breast cancer in 8.4 years and she will have a total of 9 rounds of chemo, for a total of 18 weeks. This is an aggressive schedule to shrink (2) tumors that have appeared and have spread to her lymph-nodes.
She recently had surgery to remove the tumors and affected lymph nodes. Pathology results following her surgery were pretty good. Chemo zapped cancer in her breast and 11 total nodes were removed, 3 had still had small traces of cancer.Now, Kim will start her radiation treatment that will consist of 30 treatments, (daily for 6 weeks), go for CT Scan to set up radiation tattoos sometime this week. Treatment should begin approx 7/10.30 treatments, daily for 6 weeks, starting on July 10th.
This fund has been set up to support Kim's out of pocket medical expenses and miscellaneous expenses related to her new breast cancer battle, as well as her financial expenses for her and her family. She is completely out of paid time off and does not have disability coverage. She is trying to work during her recovery, but cannot continue to do so and allow her body to heal properly. Any donations to help support my amazing best friend and her incredible family financially to simply pay their bills and cover some of their skyrocketing medical expenses are appreciated.
Young Life leaders have the privilege of knowing and sharing their lives with teenagers and young adults with disabilities. While all Young Life activities are open to every high school student, many Young Life areas have dedicated programs for students and young adults with disabilities, typically referred to as Young Life Capernaum.
Young Life Capernaum gives young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the chance to experience fun and adventure, to develop fulfilling friendships and to challenge their limits while building self-esteem through club, camp and other exciting activities.
In Mark 2, the Bible records the story of four able-bodied men and their friend with a disability. Eager for their friend to see Jesus, the talk of the town in Capernaum (kuh-per-ney-uhm), the men carried him on a mat to a home where Jesus was teaching. When the friends arrived, crowds already there prevented the men from getting their friend anywhere close to Jesus. Undaunted, they carried him to the roof where they cut a hole through layers of straw and hardened mud, and lowered the man to Jesus’ feet.
Moved by their bold faith, Jesus restored the man with a disability to wholeness and health. The
lives of all five men — and the crowd who witnessed the event — were never the same. We call Young Life’s ministry with adolescents with disabilities “Capernaum,” because we don’t think intellectual or developmental limitations should keep an adolescent from the presence of the One who promises fullness of life. Like the friends in the story, we move through barriers, including the isolation and marginalization that can accompany having special needs, believing that the lives of teens with disabilities, as well as their able-bodied friends, are transformed by the shared experience of Young Life.
My daughter, Brittany Lockwood, is a Volunteer Leader and founding team member for Capernaum in Chattanooga. She was instrumental in starting a Capernaum Club for the City of Chattanooga. Because this is a new division of Young Life in Chattanooga, they are struggling to raise funds to continue to provide weekly gatherings with the kids in addition to raising funds to assist in paying their way to camp and all activities. 100% of all donations go directly to fund the kids, not paid staff or volunteers. Brittany also serves as a volunteer YoungLife Leader in Chattanooga for Red Banks High School and leads small group bible studies for her kids at Red Banks.
Brittany just returned from taking her Capernaum kids to Camp for the very first time to the YL Carolina Point Camp. Carolina Point recently underwent a major renovation to make the camp fully accessible to kids with disabilities. The can now swim in a pool with zero entry access for those in wheel chairs, mini-water park activities designed for those with physical disabilities and special tandem harnesses so they can zipline just like all the other campers. Brittany’s heart for these kids is her passion and she has worked tirelessly to make sure that her “kids” would have the same opportunities as the established YL Capernaum Clubs in Memphis and Collierville.
Brittany’s Facebook Post: “I can't imagine my life without these students, this team, or this ministry! I'm so thankful to have a place where our friends with disabilities are loved and celebrated the way they should always be.”