Teens today face all kinds of distractions, influences, and pressures. Unfortunately, a lot of them are searching for acceptance and feelings of self-worth in the wrong places. At Youth Haven, there is unconditional love and acceptance, and these young men and women are reassured that their worth comes from their identity as children of God!
Although our primary focus is children between the ages of 7 and 13, we also have the privilege of investing in the lives of teens through our “Elevate” program. We’ve adopted an aeronautical theme that helps the teens visualize the concept of “reaching new heights with Christ.”
Elevate is designed to help teens identify where they are in their relationship with Christ, challenge them to grow in their faith, and equip them for servant leadership. Our Elevate teens are invited to special weekend and summer retreats, and those who demonstrate a sincere desire to serve are also invited to help with the children as teen volunteers (“Cadets” and “Captains”). They can relate to the kids in a unique and powerful way, and the children look up to them as role models.
Many of the teens who are part of our Elevate program have been coming to Youth Haven since they were children. In fact, if you have attended one of our Candlelight Dinners in the past, you may have received one of their prayer cards. These young people have faced difficult circumstances in their lives, but have found hope in Christ through their experiences at Youth Haven. It’s a privilege for our staff to continue to pour into them as teens and see them choose to give back to the children.
To start off 2019, we held an Elevate overnight with a special banquet honoring our Cadets and Captains. We’ve seen an incredible response to our Elevate program in Michigan, with 56 Cadets and Captains giving over 9,000 hours of service in 2018! This includes two teens who each gave over 500 hours individually. We’re working hard to develop the Elevate program at our Arizona campus as well.
Thank you for helping to make this possible! As together we invest in the lives of teens, we are shaping and preparing the next generation of leaders!