teen mothers

YFC Supports Teen Parents with the Love of Christ

September 17, 2022

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Supporting Teen Parents

There are approximately 158,043 births to teen mothers (between the ages of 15-19) in America every year. Unfortunately, teen parents tend to struggle with their new role as a caregiver. A pregnant teenager can face social discrimination. They may often not get the support needed to complete schooling, start a career, or care for themselves and their children. With that said, many young parents don’t know where to get the help needed to raise their children and pursue their dreams.

 

Youth For Christ (YFC) is a leader in the missional ministry community in America for 77 years. YFC is dedicated to reaching young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other like-minded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus. They lead by their godliness in lifestyle, devotion to the Word of God and prayer, passion for sharing the love of Christ, and commitment to social involvement. YFC’s Parent Life ministry seeks to connect with expectant and parenting teens. This also includes their children through intentional relationships with caring adults and community partnerships.

Guidance is Key

“Our aim is to empower teen parents to thrive in every aspect of life. We strive to encourage them toward becoming life-long followers of Jesus Christ,” said YFC Parent Life Senior National Community Ministry Specialist Anabelle Chambers. “There are so many misconceptions about teen parents. All most of them want is to be the best parent possible for their children. These young teen parents — and their children — are created in the image of God. It’s easy for outsiders to forget that they are just kids themselves and still need guidance.”

 

“Being pregnant at such a young age can be incredibly traumatic,” Chambers said. “Consistent loving and caring relationships can make all the difference in the world. And this relationship is not one-sided. It’s a journey of discovery for the teen parent and the mentor together. It has to be mutually vulnerable or it’s not authentic. The perception many of these students have is that Christians have it all together. We share our stories about how God showed up in our lives. They start to realize that if God can do that for us, He can do it for them too.”

Impacting Two Generations

“By coming alongside young parents during their time of need, we’re really reaching two generations,” Judy Phillips, director of staff training and parent life director for Metro Maryland YFC, said. “We build these strong, Christ-centered relationships. We’re loving on them and introducing Jesus to them. YFC does this in order to break a cycle and move toward health for a whole new generation.

 

“We ask the students, what is the one thing that’s most important? They always say, ‘You come back every week.’ It makes me cry because they are so sincere. Sometimes, when people hear all that these youth are going through, it can be too much to handle and they leave. Having the commitment just to listen and come back is more powerful than you can imagine.

 

“We might be walking in a world that is unfamiliar to us, but there is beauty and resiliency and strength.”

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