October/November 2014 - Vol. 76
Youth Initiatives visit North
                          Coast of Ireland
Gabe Colston from YouthWorks-Detroit (center) visits the North Coast of Ireland with friends from Youth Initiatives

Youth-Works Detroit and Youth Initiatives Belfast

From Detroit to Belfast – a summer of personal growth and service

For many of the past 16 summers, Youth Initiatves (YI) has been sending young people from Belfast to come and serve in the city of Detroit as part of our Detroit Summer Outreach internship program. These youth have encountered the living Christ in powerful and life‐changing ways while serving in the city, and they have made a powerful impact in the lives of Detroit youth. One of the first, Tony Silcock, is a Program Director with YI, and many others have returned to serve and lead and become planted in our outreaches in Northern Ireland.

This past summer, an amazing first has occurred – YouthWorks‐Detroit has sent our first young person to Belfast to serve in their Summer Schemes program. Gabe Colston came to us as an intellectual 8th grade student just beginning to find his way as a young man. Four years later, after serving as a member of our StreetTeam Leadership Program and our youth group, Gabe has grown tremendously, graduated high school, and is preparing to enter college at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in the fall.

However, he has also grown tremendously in his relationship with Jesus, and he has heard a call and invitation to service. When the opportunity to give his summer to service arose, he jumped at the chance to follow Jesus in the adventure awaiting him with YI.

He dove in, spending his time in Belfast living household life with the Servants of the Word, in a common life of prayer and service, and reaching out to youth who often have never embraced much positive in their lives or been encouraged that their lives could amount to anything. We are grateful that Gabe is choosing a life of service and sacrificial love, and excited to see where the Lord will lead him next. Please continue to pray for Gabe and all our Detroit youth as God continues his work of renewal and revival in the city of Detroit one life at a time.

My amazing Experience with Detroit Summer Outreach

by Chelsea Duff

“The time I spent serving with Detroit Summer Outreach this past summer with was the best of my entire life. I cannot in words do justice to this summer, this city, and the Lord’s work here. I have never experienced anything as amazing as Detroit Summer Outreach. The blessings I have experienced this summer I cannot count. Detroit, the people in Detroit, YouthWorks‐Detroit, and everybody I met will always have a very special place in my heart. I have so much love and admiration for the city of Detroit. Maybe someday I will figure out how to express how amazing this summer was. "

[Chelsea Duff  is a member of University Christian Outreach at the University of Maryland, USA.]

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