Youth for Christ (YFC) in North Central Ohio recently held its annual banquet on March 30 at the Mansfield Commerce Center, in Mansfield, OH.
Featured speaker Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth imparted the same challenge he received from Mother Theresa to the attendees, "Where have you been? What have you done?" It was her way of asking herself, "Have I lived a Christ-loving way, serving God, making a difference?"
The question Kenneth asked is what YFC has strived to do: participate in the body of Christ in responsible evangelism of youth, presenting them with the person, work and teachings of Christ and discipling them into the local church, according to the organization's mission statement.
Some could have said "Yes" to Kenneth's question such as Mari Colace who was honored with an award at the banquet for her 3 years of managing HIS House, the former Mansfield Bible Church, one of the four buildings operated by North Central Ohio Youth For Christ in Mansfield and Lexington.
Dan McLaughlin, director of Youth for Christ, testified for Colace, saying she sacrificed long hours and "sweated blood for the kids."
In addition to the HIS House on Reba Ave.,the North Central Ohio YFC operates aTeen Center, The Mill in Lexington and HIS House in the Prospect Elementary School neighborhood.
"Where it's going next, I'm not sure exactly what God is doing there. He's stirring the pot a little bit and some things may change as we go. Nevertheless, what's happened there the past few years is nothing short of a miracle," McLaughlin said.
During the banquet, participants also watched videos on the ministry work done by students and staff at schools and neighborhoods of Mansfield, Madison Township, Shelby and Lexington.
McLaughlin expressed thanks to the generosity of the donors who have supported and others who continue to support the non-profit organization.
This year, the YFC USA is planning a gathering to celebrate its 60th Anniversary.