I've been stunned, recently, at the caliber of the cross-spectrum difference-makers that comprise The Open Door Community. Literally, there are men and women participating with God in fixing a broken world in unthinkable ways. Jen and Tucker Farrar (& their 3 boys) are two of the difference-makers that I'm referring to. They are the Program Directors of a non-profit called Today's Youth Matter (TYM) that offers hope and a future to the Bay Area's most at-risk youth. It's an incredible organization that is intentionally posturing itself below and prioritizing the flourishing of the marginalized. I'm proud of them & their work and I'm excited that we finally get an opportunity to join them in what they're doing. In this blog post, Tucker offers us a compelling invitation to practice what we've been learning. He writes:
Does is snow in Philippi?
As we study Philippians we consistently hear compelling invitations to “uncompromisingly contending for oneness” and to "posture ourselves below and prioritize the flourishing of others" in the Way of Jesus. I especially like the way we, in The Open Door Community, pray that God would make our community Cross-Shaped: that we would become a mutually interdependent community that lays our lives down for the flourishing of others…especially the marginalized.
We're discovering that “Walking in the way of Jesus” is action oriented. Let me invite us into action in a unique way.
Today’s Youth Matter (TYM) serves troubled and abused children and teens (ages 8-18) in our own backyard: cities like Oakland, Richmond, San Jose, Pittsburg, Concord and Antioch. Through intensive summer camping programs, snow trips, and year round discipleship, TYM staff and volunteers work to replace memories of unthinkable abuse and suffering with God’s redemptive plan for joy, hope and restoration.
Many TYM kids live in outrageously difficult home situations ranging from multiple foster homes, group homes and or previously abusive situations. Kerry is a 9 year old girl who first came to camp with matted hair, dirty face and a plastic Safeway bag filled with 1 t-shirt and a toothbrush…for 5 days of summer camp! Kerry was referred to TYM through a homeless shelter in Richmond and last summer her life was changed by her experience at TYM camp; three meals day, learning to swim, sleeping in a teepee, camping for the first time ever, and being loved day and night by our staff and volunteers. Heaven touched down and Kerry’s life was changed.
Through our study of Philippians, we’re discovering that Jesus is forming us into a mutually interdependent community that spends our life on the flourishing of others. There are thousands of kids like Kerry in the Bay Area that need people like you to invest in their lives, even if for only a weekend. Would you consider spending a weekend posturing yourself below and prioritizing the flourishing of kids like her?
TYM Snow Camps are a follow up program for kids who have attended our summer camp. We need teams of 3-5 volunteers to help our TYM staff run each of our 4 Snow Camp weekends in the coming months.
Details: The camp goes from 8:30am on Saturday until 2pm on Sunday. Saturday is an all-day play day in the snow sledding, snowball fighting, snowman building, snow angel making, & hot chocolate drinking. For some, this will be there first every encounter with snow! Saturday night is spent at a church in Auburn where we love kids through dinner, basketball, dodge ball, popcorn, movies, and great conversations. Sunday morning, we breakfast then worship at the church we’re staying at. Each camp consists of approximately 15 kids.
||TYM Snow Camp
||Boys Snow Camp 1 (ages 8-12)
||Girls Snow Camp 1 (ages 8-12)
||Boys Snow Camp 2 (ages 8-12)
||Girls Snow Camp 2 (ages 8-12)
Let’s follow in the Way of Jesus together (in the snow & and with kids who need you)! Simply email me, let me know when you, your family, your friends, and/or your Circle could serve with us.
In His Grip,
Tucker Farrar, TYM Program Director
TYM on FACEBOOK