When I left the office on January 27th, the area finances looked grim. We had a deficit of $34,000 and upcoming monthly expenses somewhere around $21,000, and we had only raised $5,000. This put us close to $50,000 in deficit, 50% pay for staff, and talks of shutting the area down. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep that night. I had done everything I could think of: I had prayed, called, emailed, met with, and even written handwritten letters to as many people as I could, and still we sat at $5,000 raised.
Just then I was reminded of how God shows up in big ways in moments like this throughout the Bible. Whether it's Daniel in the lions’ den, or David vs. Goliath, or the winds and the crashing waves over a small boat on the Sea of Galilee; God always shows up at just the right time. I woke up Sunday like a kid on Christmas morning, anxiously waiting for my God to show up. Then it happened! A donor called and said he wanted to give a matching gift of $30,000! Wow! That helped a ton, but wouldn't get us out of the hole completely. Then I met with a guy who said he would give $15,000!
What happened next is simply incredible. Emails went out and people responded left and right...email after email, phone call after phone call, money started pouring in to the tune of $20,000! In just over 24 hours, a grand total of $65,000 came into our area. That’s amazing! I have never seen anything like it. God is clearly moving in our area and I want to thank each of you for your prayers, support, and efforts to make this possible.
Let’s not stop here. Let’s keep pushing! How awesome and crazy would it be if we went from being in the hole almost $50,000 to being in the black $50,000?! I believe God is just that kind of God, so let’s keep going and see where this crazy God ride takes us!
Give now: http://giving.younglife.org/houstonsw
-Jawaan Ballard (Area Director)
Get the latest on each ministry by clicking HERE!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! As we cap off a crazy fall semester in Young Life, I want to take a moment and say thank you for your support and prayers. This season has brought us many ups and downs. We have seen staff move on and ministries change. Yet the fact still remains that "a baby changes everything." That phrase has never meant more to me than this year. Yes, with my wife and I welcoming our first born, our lives have definitely changed- but most importantly, the baby that is Jesus Christ has changed all of our lives. We are so thankful that with your help and support we get to share that truth with our teenage friends.
I am excited to share with you the great successes each of our ministries have enjoyed this year! We have seen Bellaire get back to its glory days with clubs reaching over 100 kids. The relaunch of Episcopal Young Life has been great- with a new team of leaders, 10 seniors gathered this week for dinner and to brainstorm what they want the spring to look like! Lamar is home to one of the largest clubs in Houston, and one of the most diverse in the country. St. John’s has seen over 60 kids come to their first two clubs of the year. As I type this, kids at Westbury Christian, (our newest ministry in the area) are asking me about the next Young Life event.
We are sad to see Capernaum leave the area (as it is now a part of the Greater Houston regional ministry) in an effort to grow and reach more kids with special needs. However, we are excited for their new opportunities and wish them the best of luck. While we have seen Capernaum leave, we are anxiously anticipating the return of YoungLives (our ministry to teen moms) to our area in the spring.
Finally, we have just under $100,000 left to raise in our budget for this fiscal year. We would be honored if you would consider us in your giving plan for 2017. You can give online here: http://giving.younglife.org/houstonsw. All donations are 100% tax deductible. We would also encourage you to check and see if your company matches charitable gifts by clicking HERE.
As we celebrate God coming down to us, we look forward to continuing to go where teenagers are in 2017.
Thank you for your prayers and support, we are truly grateful!
-Jawaan Ballard (Area Director)