YFC Portland Provides Safe Environment for Youth Who Feel at Risk

November 15, 2022


YFC’s Mission

Youth For Christ’s (YFC) mission is simple. It’s a movement to reach young people right where they are and share the love of Christ through unique, biblical mentorship. At YFC Portland, the organization recently pursued that mission in a unique way.

Joey Shadel, YFC Portland’s area director, recently shared a story of how YFC is reaching the community.

Reaching Out

Shadel said, “A local church provides space in their building to serve as our base of operations. My pastor asked me to come to his office. He showed me some surveillance video taken outside the church building. In the video, a group of kids removed a ‘No Skateboarding’ sign and sawed off the steel blockers on the curbs, which are intended to keep skaters from riding there.”

After sharing the video, the pastor posed an interesting question.

Shadel said, “The pastor said, ‘I know who they are, and I know where they live. We could call the cops. What do you want to do?’”

For many, the answer would be obvious: report the vandalism to the police. Instead, Shadel had a different idea.

“I remembered my days skateboarding in high school, so I suggested installing a skate rail outside for the kids to use, and bringing some food and hanging out with them,” Shadel said.


The unexpected proposal delivered unexpected results. Shadel posted a note to the kids on a window, inviting them to come back, skate and enjoy some pizza. Days later the kids showed up, which was the start of an informal group ministering to these local teens. Soon Shadel was meeting with these students on a regular basis. Ultimately, three of the teens gave their lives to Christ.

For Shadel, this experience provided a valuable insight for anyone hoping to reach young people with the Gospel.

“Our view of ministry has to evolve,” Shadel said. “As youth workers, many of us were taught that if you offer good worship and teaching, kids will come to your church. However, that is not always the case, especially with lost youths. They’re not going to wander into a church. So we have to find ways to, instead, enter their world in order to connect with them, which involves meeting them where they are and just loving on them.”



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