Hi, my name is Greg Gudal, and I'm the Executive Director of South Central Minnesota Youth For Christ. I've worked with Youth For Christ for 30 years. This last year, we worked with 400 kids. Right now, we have kids coming at 8:30 in the morning [for our Supervised Learning Program]. Then they're there until 5:30 at night. And so we do a devotion in the morning before their schooling starts, and we may be serving breakfast and then we serve lunch. And then if we have a program in the evening, which our clubs are currently now going, our evening clubs, campus life is happening, and we serve a supper and a meal ahead of time. We're working on a lot of one-on-ones and kids are hanging out at The Rock playing ping pong and playing other games. Just like before, only wearing masks or shields and things of that nature.
This past summer, we were able to run two camps. And out of that group, 17 kids said that they prayed for the first time in their life to receive Christ. 50-some kids recommitted their lives to following Christ. One of the cabin leaders shared that in their small group of boys, one of the boys didn't even know his dad. Another boy said that his dad was in prison. And a third one said, my dad just got out of prison, but he doesn't want anything to do with me. It breaks my heart sometimes when I hear the troubles and the challenges and the stories that kids go through.
I mentioned that 17 kids had come to Christ at camp, but one young man who we'd kind of gotten disconnected from during the whole COVID thing when it happened. And this was a student that would sit at the clubs, kind of be distant, kind of listen, never want to make a decision, never wanted, wasn't ready to pray, to trust Christ, but he was sure interested in the message. After we were able to reopen during COVID, this young man came back in and he shared with the staff. He said, "I decided to follow Jesus. I've tried everything else. I've tried it all. And none of it works. And I want to be a follower of Jesus now." And we're so thankful that we got to be a little bit of a part of it. And so did you, as you partner with us. We appreciate your prayers and your support because it changes lives. God changes lives.
Somebody's got to share with the kids that are on the streets, the kids that aren't in the churches. Somebody's got to share with the kids who don't have a chance to hear it unless we tell them, unless somebody tells them. My heart is to help kids in any way that I can. Whether it's food or schooling, to help them to be as successful as they can as an individual, but even more importantly, to know Jesus and to walk with God. And so in the busy-ness and craziness of our world, don't forget about the least of these, the kids who need hope, who need the gospel, who need maybe physical food and clothes. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. Thank you for taking the time to hear a little bit of my heart, and what's going on at Youth For Christ. We need to reach young people. And we wanna partner with the local church and other like-minded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus.
In place of our Youth For Christ Banquet this year, we've elected to do a Youth For Christ fundraising campaign to work on raising $200,000 between now and the end of the year. We would ask that you would fill out the pledge card that hopefully you have in front of you, or you can also give online. Thank you for partnering with us. This ministry wouldn't exist if it wasn't for people like you, who wanted to see kids being reached and loved on. And because of your generous support this organization continues to move forward.