Oregon Youth Challenge Help Share God With the Salem Community

Every year, Youth Challenge student workers walk Northwest streets looking for hearts open to God's truth. Jesse Ellingson is one such youth. His experiences journaled below may encourage someone else to break out of his or her comfort zone and plan for a Youth Challenge adventure this coming summer. — Editor

"Last summer I had my work cut out for me. I had some really good experiences throughout this summer, but my most enjoyable one would be when I was out in the middle of nowhere. I walked up this driveway that was at least 12 miles long. I walked it in faith, believing that God knew what he was doing. On top of a plateau was a nice-looking house. Luckily there was somebody home, and they were having a barbecue.

"I had one book that I might be able to sell to him but it was a cookbook, and the coordinator said, "Never sell a cookbook to someone who is cooking." I had to do something so I went up and started talking to the guy; he was really friendly. He asked a lot of questions and the last one he asked was what I wanted to become. I said a medical missionary. He said hold on one minute and he went into his house for just a second, then came out and paid for the book. I did not look at how much he gave me. I was just happy. When I got back to the car and looked at it—it was a $100 bill. I was excited!

"This has really inspired me throughout the summer knowing that wherever God sends me, he always has something for me to learn to do in his service, to be spreading his message to everyone. I have also learned how to talk to people without being shy. This service teaches you how to interact with others and how to lead them to Christ. This was very fulfilling for me, and a great experience for anyone who would like to join this program."

Near the end of the summer Jesse was not feeling well and was told he would need surgery. People started praying for him and when he went for the surgery the problem appeared to have cleared up. A couple of months after Oregon Youth Challenge was over, Jesse again suffered severe pain. When medication did not relieve the pain, doctors discovered an aneurysm very close to his heart. Surgery and much prayer saved his life. Jesse's is surprising his doctors with an excellent recovery.

Oregon Youth Challenge is seeking young people who want to spend the summer not only earning a scholarship for school but who wish to help share the gospel with people in the Salem area. If you are interested in joining OYC for the summer, please contact Lorraine Anderson, (503) 695-5329, land224@myexcel.com or go to the OYC website www.ORYC.net.

January 01, 2008 / Oregon Conference