AUSTIN, Minn.--Youth for Christ is expanding its area of operation from one city to the next. Jill Skogen, the area director of the YFC ministry, is making efforts to take what has worked in Albert Lea and using it to expand the ministry in Austin.
Currently, she is running the Austin ministry out of the Mower County Senior Center.
In Albert Lea, the YFC ministry has a regular office and also drop-in center area youth. Youth are invited to come to the center to hang-out and learn about Jesus.
Meike Brueck, an intern from Germany at the Albert Lea Center, teaches the kids at the center.
"I'm doing kind of a Bible lesson for kids that want to know a little more about Jesus," said Bruek, who think the program has helped the kids a lot.
Skogen is trying to bring increase the youth participation in Austin as she had been doing in Albert Lea.
Although there have been few activities planned, more are one the way.
Already this year, a group of high school students went to an Acquire the Fire rally, a youth worship event, in Minneapolis. In May, YFC is planning a Girls Night Out event to take place at the Bethlehem Free Methodist Church. A Colorado camping trip will follow in July.
The events planned reflect the current needs of the area’s youth. For example, The Girls Night Out will feature a movie, a discussion and games to help students understand how to be wise in sexual issues.
Skogen is aware of the Christian organizations that are already established in Austin so she is developing relationships with them in order to reach out to a broader youth community.
"It's not just Youth for Christ out there, it's partnering up with the local churches too," she said.
She also participates in the Austin High GAPP (Grandparents and Parents Plus) program where she is a mentor to the students there.
"I'm there as a helper, a friendly face," she said. "Someone to serve, someone to listen."
The YFC ministry in Austin doesn’t have a center yet but Skogen says in the future she can see a support base that will justify a center. Her efforts for YFC are on-going and continuously developing.
"There's always someone left out, so we'd like to reach everyone," she said.