News & Updates

Youth for Christ horizontal logo Mid Valley Chapter
Youth for Christ horizontal logo Mid Valley Chapter

We don’t get to Sunday without Friday

I’ve spent a lot of time this week reflecting and lingering on what is to come. A friend said to me this week, “We don’t get to Sunday without Friday”. Today may feel heavy and hard because of the sacrifice Christ made for you and me. But, we don’t get to Sunday without Friday. And on Sunday, we will celebrate that glorious day with the promise of his return.

One day, they led him up Calvary’s mountain (Luke 23:26)
One day, they nailed him to die on a tree (Luke 23: 33)
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my redeemer is he

The hands that healed nations
Stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

Living he loved me.
Dying he saved me.
And buried, he carried my sins far away.
Rising, he justified. (Luke 24:6)
Freely forever,
One day, he’s coming
Oh, glorious day
Oh, glorious day

(song by Casting Crowns, Glorious Day)

Youth for Christ horizontal logo Mid Valley Chapter


I hope you have a blessed and meaningful Easter Weekend.

Jennifer Berg

Jennifer Berg

Executive Director


Bringing Hope to the Hopeless

Mid-Valley Youth for Christ
Juvenile Justice Ministry

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“Thank you for coming today…
I can’t remember the last time I smiled or laughed.” (15-year-old male)

During one of my recent trips to detention, I was disappointed to learn that only three youth requested to attend my group when I knew there were a total of 12 in the facility. The staff escorting us to the classroom was also surprised and asked a colleague, “Did you tell them it was Jen, and that she has licorice?!” Armed with this new information, the second staff member went back to the youth and soon, more than half of the 12 were settling into their seats, ready for the treat that earned me the nickname “The Licorice Lady” over a decade ago.

You might remember that when I do group at detention, I’m frequently meeting with a revolving door of youth because this is a temporary holding facility. So, while I can’t easily do Bible studies or engage in on-going mentoring relationships like I can with youth in long-term facilities, the good news is that in this more introductory context, I can use good materials on frequent repeat. And one of my favorite selections is to grab anything that Christian comedian Tim Hawkins produces because of how humor (in combination with licorice!) breaks down walls. On this night, the video’s main point set up a great conversation with questions from the youth such as, “Will God still love me despite some things I’ve done?” What I love about this (frequently asked) question is just how surprised the youth become when I say that God loves them no matter who they are, or what they have done (Romans 8: 38-39).

That night after the video, I was able to meet one-on-one with a 15-year-old young man who thanked me for coming because he hadn’t felt joy for longer than he could remember. Being able to bring a smile to the heart of a young person who has forgotten what it is like to feel happiness is both a burden and an amazing privilege. Thank you for participating with me in delivering the Good News to incarcerated youth in our community.

I’m grateful for your commitment to this ministry, and I wish you and your family a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday.

Bringing HOPE to the hopeless.

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