Video: Helping Homeless Youth in Oregon
There are 300 homeless children and youth — out of only 3,000 students—in The Dalles, Oregon, according to local educators. Enter the Youth Empowerment Shelter (Y.E.S.). Started in 2014 by InFaith’s Gary and Linda Casady, Y.E.S.’s mission is to provide a place of physical and emotional safety for youth in crisis.
“These kids matter. They matter to God,” Gary Casady says. “We have a Biblical mandate to minister to the orphans. We’ve heard the term that these kids are ‘throwaway kids’—nobody thinks they can be helped. But they’re all made in the image of God. Once we develop relationships with them, we find out how amazing they really are.”
The Casadys have dug into their local community and work with the juvenile department, the police force, and local educators in getting the help that homeless youth need. “Y.E.S. is filling a gap in the system here,” says Linda Casady.
Watch our short video about Gary and Linda Casady and the Y.E.S. house at https://infaith.org/thedalles.
Want to serve with the Casadys?
We are searching for an Outreach Coordinator for the Youth Empowerment Shelter. The Outreach Coordinator will build relationships within the homeless population to educate at-risk youth about the resources available for them at Y.E.S. The coordinator will also work with local law enforcement and school counselors to extend services to eligible individuals. For more information and to apply, check out the Outreach Coordinator listing on our website.
Candidate Profile: Andy & Anne Hermanns
About 90 miles up the Columbia River from the Casadys, our candidates Andy and Anne Hermanns are beginning to minister to youth in their area. Last school year, there were eight attempted student suicides in their small town of Irrigon. “God has called us to our town,” Andy says. “The US needs missions just like overseas.”
Andy and Anne believe God is leading them to expand outside of the church and into the heart of the community in order to take Jesus to the four corners of the city. They facilitate Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) at the local high school campus, lead youth group at their home church, and have small group studies with some of the teens in their home. Several times a year Andy and Anne gather people for a prayer walk around the community. They both offer whatever they can: counsel, prayer, support, time, love, and more to the youth God lays on their hearts. FCA allows them to take church to the kids once a week who are not able or willing to attend a church. Christian concerts, camps, and events allow for Andy and Anne to take the youth to fun, clean events in a safe atmosphere. They also lead Radical Church on Sunday nights, which is geared toward youth and young adults.
Along with caring for youth in their community, the Hermannses have four children of their own. In their free time, Andy likes to ride his Harley and Anne enjoys painting and writing. Read more about Andy and Anne to see if you’d like to partner with them and enable them to continue to reach local.
Giving Tuesday is Coming!
Giving Tuesday is on November 27 this year. For those of you who don’t know, Giving Tuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s a kick off to the charitable season when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. And we’d love for you to take the opportunity to “give local” and support our work of caring for our neighbors, our communities, and our nation to help reach our country for Christ. We’ll send you an email on November 27 with details about how you can give.
Blog: The Desert
By Ridge Burns, Executive Director/CEO
I was recently at a conference where it was said, “Every great thing God does comes out of the desert.” I began to think about how true that is. There are times of loneliness and dryness, but everything that God does seems to rise out of that kind of environment. In the desert you’re always seeking, you’re always looking for water, you’re looking for newness.
When we’re in the desert we’re very open to what God has for us. Not only that, but it makes us desperate. The desert is a harsh environment. It makes us desperate for Him and desperate to call on Him. The desert gives you a different perspective. A perspective not of abundance and beauty and greenery and growth, but of harshness that drives us to the cross of Christ.
The desert forces us to cry for help. There’s nobody to help. We’re alone. It’s desolate and dry and isolated from society. When you wander in the desert God brings you to that wonderful prayer where you just say, “Help. There’s nothing I can do. There’s no way I can solve this problem. I’m desperate for you, Lord Jesus!”
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