The Pulse 101.7FM staff recently had the awesome opportunity to go and tour the Freedom For Youth ministry in Des Moines. I had been there once in the past, helping with cleanup and maintenance with my high school ministries group when I was younger, but to come back and have a tour of this great outreach was definitely worthwhile.
After meeting some of the staff and summer interns, we were personally guided through the tour by Freedom For Youth’s founder, Mark Nelson, who showed us around their buildings and gave accounts and story after story of opportunities this ministry has had in reaching the lives of the youth and young adults in need of help, and in need of hope.
As we went from building to building, we met a number of students. To see the hope and the new life in those who had been there for a while, and to see that sense of purpose and renewal in those who were just getting into the program moved me beyond words. My heart has always been to be there and reach the youth, especially those in need, and those who are searching, broken, and looking for hope.
It was evident this has been the vision for Mark and the Freedom for Youth staff, seeing all the different ways students are able to connect in the community, to find who God made them to be, and figure out what they want to do in their lives. To once again be reminded that these things are a totally new concept to many of the youth who come through the doors encouraged me even more to see the hard work this ministry puts into the community around them, I honestly had a hard time holding tears back being so moved by what God continues to do at Freedom for Youth.
Something Mark continued to make apparent was the fact that volunteers were heavily needed and support was always welcome! With so many kids coming through the door and the work needed to be accomplished to keep the ministry continuing it was made clear that there is a great opportunity for us to come alongside Freedom for Youth and serve our community the way Christ called us to serve. From simple things such as getting a group to bring in a meal and serve it to the kids who come in, to taking kids out to fish and teaching them how to, to helping with maintenance, there is plenty to invest our time into and show these kids the love we are called to live out daily!
I’m more than excited to see what God has planned for this ministry, and I am looking forward to serving when I can at Freedom for Youth.