Young Life leaders are more than caring adults who serve as role models for kids. They are involved in kids' everyday lives.
She was a freshman girl. Short, shy, and sweet. I knew her best friend from the previous year
and was excited to meet her. Rudi came from Hooper Bay to our small village of Galena
to attend the boarding school. She was excited to have a new experience and meet new
friends. I knew right away she would be a great leader and as a Young Life leader
desired to see her thrive in Galena. We hit it off right away and the journey began!
Coming from a rough family and village, there were many nights of tears and deep hurts we had
to wrestle through. Each time, we would end in prayer and she would see her need for
the Lord. She would continually attend Young Life events and church and be excited
about the Lord. Then something terrible happened. Her older sister died from
complications having to do with alcohol. Rudi fell in to a dark place in life. She wanted
nothing from me or any other caring adult. She especially wanted nothing from God.
She was caught in a downward spiral of anger and depression, knowing what would
help her, but not wanting to be helped. Months passed and it grew harder and harder to
love her. I would pour into her and she would reject it. The Lord showed me it did not
matter how she responded, or if she gave love in return; but that I was to continue to
show her the love of Christ. After months of eye rolling, deep sighs, and one sided
conversations, Rudi realized that the love she was being shown by various Young Life
leaders was not from themselves, but they were used as ways to show her how much
God loved her. She had come out of the darkness and walked in the truth of the love of
God. That year at the Galena Young Life banquet she would stand in front of 200 adults
and share her story of loss, pain, and ultimately victory in Christ.