I always tell folks that when I was growing up I had a drug problem.

My mom drug me to church on Wednesday nights, Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, and every chance she could. That’s the kind of drug problem we need in society today, wouldn’t you agree?

Last night, I was fortunate to be invited by Bill and Teresa McAfee to attend a Celebration Event in Lexington for Young Life – Lake Murray .

It was a great event and I was excited to see members of Young Life from Irmo High School and Lexington High School share what Young Life has meant to them and how their lives have been changed by having a relationship with God.

The event will hopefully springboard the efforts to move Young Life to the Dutch Fork and Chapin schools within two years.

Last night also gave me the chance to see folks I went to high school with and church with when we were growing up in Taylors, SC. Caroline Claudepierre (now Buck) and Donna Mayfield (now Currey). I also saw one of my cousins and her husband, Sally and Vance Lipe.

If you don’t know about Young Life, you can read a letter from last year by the Columbia Area Director, Jason Blackwell. Oh, he’s a former member of our community and a product of our school district!

Members of the Irmo Committee are Warren and Sara Bazemore, Chris and Caroline Buck, Todd and Donna Currey, Jay and Tonya Hayes, Susan Kirby, Mark Lowell, Bill and Teresa McAfee, Jane Roberts, Bill and Caroline Robinson. Members of the Lexington Committee are Charles and Leslie Bumgardner, Stephanie Devaney, Quin Johnson, Marcus and Ann Miller, Darby Reeves, Butch Scott, Billy and Crystal Wallace.

To find out how your child can get involved or to offer your support (prayers, financial, time), please visit the link here.


Dear Friends of Young Life,

I remember my first experience with Young Life in Chapin back in 1992. “Join the Fun” is a fitting phrase to describe it. I definitely felt as though I was joining the fun. I’m not sure at that point in my life if I had seen Christians having so much fun. Maybe I was sheltered, or maybe the folks in Young Life just know how to have fun. I’m becoming more and more convinced that it’s the latter. This summer while I was at camp with nearly 70 high school students and their leaders there was a particular moment during which I was more aware than ever how blessed I am to be a part of a ministry that knows how to have some fun with students. In this instance, we had just arrived and were preparing for our first club meeting of the week. Crooked Creek’s club room is down a hill towards a beautiful little meadow and stream. As I turned the corner and
approached the building I looked over nearly 400 students piled in on each other and clamoring at the doors of the club room. I thought to myself what a blessing it is to be a part of a ministry that makes hearing the gospel so appealing to students. It should be that appealing. It’s the greatest love story ever told. The God of the Universe in human form on a cross for me. That’s worth getting excited over! It should be fun to hear of that kind of Love, and it should be fun to pursue Him with our lives. We ought never bore a kid with the Gospel. Having fun and following Christ really can coexist. Students need to know that. They need to see it. I know I did as a freshman in high school when I first encountered my Young Life leaders.

I get excited when I think about students who are encountering Young Life in much the same way as I did back then. I love it that we’re able not only to invite them to a relationship with Christ but also to join us in the fun. That sort of invitation is taking place all over this city, and it’s a wonderful, wonderful thing. It’s happening because of adults who have taken on the responsibility of owning and supporting this ministry. It’s happening because of volunteer leaders that are breaking their backs with effort and their hearts with concern over students. It’s also a result of churches who support this ministry with their resources and prayers. Young
Life’s impact for Christ in this city truly is the result of a team effort. That sort of effort on behalf of students is fun in and of itself. So, thank you to those of you that have already joined us in the fun of reaching middle and high school students with the Good News of Christ. You are extremely important to Young Life in Columbia and this ministry is fun as a result of your involvement. If you’re not yet in on the fun of Young Life and the joys of reaching students with the Gospel, we’d love to have you “Join the Fun!”

Jason Blackwell