Hello and happy February!! There have been so many changes in our lives the past year. As the old saying goes, some things change, and some things stay the same. Unfortunately, some things change for good and some for bad. One thing that has changed for the worst is the number of violent crimes committed by our youth. I received a disturbing report which reflects an increase in the number of violent crimes, manslaughter, and murder, by 141% since 2017. In numbers, this percentage represents an increase from 17 to over 40 cases. This fiscal year started in July and we are already at 42. In Colorado, out of the 4,083 new juvenile admissions in the past fiscal year, 31% were suspected of committing violent crimes. The state does not know the cause of the increase and have numerous committees and task forces studying the issue. El Paso County has the largest number of adolescents of any county in Colorado so you can be assured we can account for our share in the over four thousand committed youth.
I share this with you not to upset or frighten you. I know what will help turn the tide and that is the body of Christ. I know there are numerous ways the body can be involved with at risk youth. I know that our God loves these youth. I also know that these youth’s lives have not been without trauma. They need to see the Love of God.
Southern Colorado Youth for Christ is on the front line of this issue. I learned that we may start going into the facilities again soon. We have a lot of hard ground to plow when we get back inside. If you never sat across from a 16-year-old that is facing murder charges, believe me it takes the strength of the Lord. As I constantly remind you, we have 27 volunteers ready to serve the Lord in this way. The task requires your help. We need more volunteers, funding, and prayer.
Last Sunday on my way out of church, I ran into a young man that we worked with over a year ago. He was off parole and doing great. He had come in from out of town to watch his friend get baptized. What used to be hard ground now has life growing in fertile soil. Praise the Lord!
Our Spring funding campaign, 40 Hands, has been cancelled due to Covid. This means we need the body to step up in other ways to do God’s work. Would you please consider becoming a monthly donor? This is the most stable form of support. Thirty dollars a month makes a big difference and helps us not have to rely on events. This is Tax season. The state has made it possible for all or part of refunds to go directly to a non-profit.
Please consider how you can help give a youth in a dark place the light of the Lord. Thank you for being a friend of SOCOYFC.
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SOCO YFC Newsletters and Emails are primarily written by the Executive Director