Young Life Multicultural: Hampton Roads

Young people need to know that there is a God that loves them and wants the very best for them!

But, how can we reach the youth within our urban communities?

Living in neighborhoods riddled in poverty, crime and drugs, these young people are confronted with under resourced schools, a crisis in sexual identity and promiscuity, and the absence of positive male role models in their lives. They are submerged in a culture that rejects God and most Christian values. Who is going into their worlds to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and helping them realize their true potential?

Young Life Multicultural is built upon a foundation that is over 70 years tested, as part of a national Young Life organization with more than 700 clubs around the world, on every continent except Antarctica.

Young Life Multicultural’s approach is simple: introduce young adults to Jesus Christ in a relational way. Young Life Multicultural goes where kids are, loves them unconditionally, then EARNS the right to be heard and communicate God's love in terms thatyouth can understand. Young Life partners with adult leaders who want to work with kids regardless of their response, knowing that God will love those kids through that leader's personal willingness to be faithfully present for them.

These leaders love youth enough to meet them, where they are, as they are, in their culture-- to build bridges of authentic friendship. They spend hours with youth because relationships and trust are built over time. They listen to their stories, heartaches, triumphs, and fears, and respect who they are while remaining hopeful about who they can become. They learn their names, what they like and dislike, and understand what concerns and confuses them.

The lives of our youth are dramatically impacted when caring adults come alongside them to share God’s love and help them see that their lives have great worth, meaning and purpose.

Three of Young Life Multicultural’s most effective tools are: 1) Young Life Clubs, 2) Young Life Coaches/Boys to Men and 3) CAMP!

Young Life Clubs are groups that meet every week in one of the site schools. Presently, those schools are Booker T. High, Green Run High, Norview High, I.C. Norcom High, and Norfolk State University. These clubs are safe and friendly after school environments where leaders and youth can invite friends. There, they can eat pizza, play games, laugh, cry, sing—and just be accepted for who they are. Clubs use comedy and pop culture references to lighten the mood and promote a comfortable atmosphere; for a majority of time, students can relax and talk with friends and leaders, followed by a short prayer, spiritual message and humor to lighten the mood and make non-Christians feel more comfortable. Young Life leaders make themselves available to students and become positive adult role models.

As the youth in Young Life Clubs discover Christ’s unfailing love, small Bible Studies, called “Campaigners” are formed. This allows kids who desire to grow in their Christian walk beyond club meetings, an opportunity to explore the Bible at greater length. Many youth who begin attending Campaigners become outstanding leaders in their schools and communities.

Young Life Coaches/Boys to Men is a five-year program where men have poured into the lives of young males whose fathers are absent from the home or those who desire a mentor outside the home. A strong, positive, male role model is a critical influence in helping young males grow into strong, independent, and godly men. Young Life Coaches are men who give of their time to communicate Christ’s love for the young boys who show up each week for an after school session filled with discussion on how to function as boys growing into manhood. These youth have opportunities to go on educational field trips to businesses and universities, among other things. There is also a partnership with the Elizabeth River Project.

We are witnessing first hand how having positive adult male influence in the lives of these young men is changing their lives and encouraging brighter futures as they also come to know the importance of having a relationship with Christ and begin applying spiritual principles in their personal daily lives—to one day become productive young men in the society in which they live.

Camp is so much more than a recreational outing for the youth who attend. Young Life has designed its camp as one of the most pivotal experiences a young man or woman will encounter in their adolescent life. Each summer and some winters, Young Life charters buses to Rockbridge in Goshen, Virginia for camping in a beautiful resort-style facility that is owned by Young Life organization. For some kids, it is the first time they have ever left Hampton Roads. It provides them with a getaway from the pressures and challenges of their everyday lives, and allows them to let their walls down and feel accepted in a safe and loving environment. Like Young Life Clubs, camp is filled with fun and followed by opportunities for them to hear about Christ through large groups and smaller more intimate ones. It is here where the Gospel can come alive in their lives in such a way that they can respond appropriately to the life saving message of Jesus Christ.

Every year hundreds of youth give their lives to the Lord and change the direction of their lives forever as a result of camp?. There are numerous accounts of youth who have returned from camp with a changed attitude and behavior. With all we can say about Young Life Camp, it is still so much more.
The only thing missing from camp, is the youth who are unable to attend—due to funding.

With the hundreds of kids giving their lives to Christ each year, or reinforcing their beliefs—our hearts ache for those who are left behind, and have likely missed an opportunity of lifetime.

But YOU can help.
Partner with Young Life Multicultural and change a life forever.
Help us fill TWO buses with p0youth, for what could be the most pivotal experience of their lives. Your sponsorship will subsidize the cost. It costs $27,000 to fill one bus—so our goal is $55,000. You can contribute to this goal by sponsoring as many youth as you can—for only $425 per student.

Another way Young Life Multicultural can use your help is through volunteerism. There are all sorts of ways you can get involved—board members and Young Life Leaders are just two.

You’ve heard the testimonies shared by youth —now, it’s time to take action. The next testimony could be from the youth YOU sponsored for camp.

How can we reach the youth within our urban Hampton Roads communities?

Young Life Multicultural
Contact Mike Burbage for more information:
757-287-0691 or

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