One year ago, I was invited to a weird gathering of 100 high schoolers in someone’s basement. I sat there smushed between a bunch of loud strangers while four unlucky people were forced to eat burritos filled with spam, raw fish, icing, and other weird ingredients in front of all of us just so we could laugh- a good first impression, right? I was pretty confused and weirded out, but for some  unknown reason, I felt a strange sense of belonging. No, not a sense of belonging in disgusting burritos, but in the community of people who were all just happy to be alive. That night, I picked up a form for something called “fall weekend”, went home, and asked my mom if I could go to whatever this “fall weekend” was. She said yes, and next thing I know I am freezing cold with a warm heart at Camp Kern learning about Jesus, who would then change my life forever.

That is Young Life. 75 years ago today, Young Life was brought into the world and began to introduce people like me to Jesus. Those strangers I was shoulder to shoulder with and a little too close to one year ago today are now the community with whom I grow in my faith.  Young Life went from a strange gathering of loud people to an escape from stress and a happy place. Thank you, Young Life, for introducing me to the One who has changed the course of my life forever, and who has made today’s Alyssa happier than ever. Here’s to 75 years of spreading good news, and to many more.



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