The teenage years are crucial for a child, so when our older daughter was joining the church’s youth group, we decided to become youth leaders. We planned to continue until our younger daughter graduated from high school. We just wanted to know their friends, their parents, and be involved in their lives. We had no idea that from the moment we started volunteering as youth leaders what that would mean for the rest of our lives. Both our girls have finished college and moved out. But we are still at the youth group every Wednesday. We’re at every lock in, convention, concert, and a lot of their sporting events. We didn’t realize that by just wanting to spend time with our daughters, we would find our calling: working with the youth. We’re grandparents now and thought the kids would no longer want us to be around. But when we mentioned retiring from youth ministry, kids started coming up to us, asking us to wait until they had graduated from high school. Many of these kids come from difficult homes. They haven’t seen a good marriage. Many have no male role model in their lives. For many of them, we are their consistent adult relationship. And so, we continue to pour into these young lives. We go to their ball games, listen as they share their difficulties, help them with their school work, pray with them, and really just love them. Although we only have two biological daughters, each of these kids are our own. They are a part of our family.
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