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Ministries Making a Difference

Youth For Christ, Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, Right Track Foundation of Kansas

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) deployed to Oxford Township, Michigan, last week after a 15-year-old student allegedly shot and killed four classmates Tuesday (Nov. 30) at Oxford High School. Six BG-RRT chaplains were there to provide emotional and spiritual support to students and community members. Another team of BG-RRT chaplains deployed to Waukesha, Wisconsin, the week prior after an SUV plowed into a Christmas parade crowd killing at least six people, the youngest of which was 8 years old.

One Youth For Christ chapter in North Dakota is focused on addressing the mental health crisis impacting America’s youth by establishing programs and teams that work in places such as schools, juvenile detention centers, on Native American reservations, and within the military. “These ministries all address the basic need that these young people are struggling with—the need to be understood, appreciated, and loved,” says YFC Minot Executive Director David Pellenwessel. The American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital Association, and others have declared the mental health crisis facing youth—manifesting in suicide attempts, depression, anxiety, and drug use—a national emergency, which, while already steadily rising over the past decade, has been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Right Track Foundation of Kansas works with the Kansas Department of Corrections to fund and provide training for inmates in trade skills, such as welding and woodcraft. The foundation raised money to build a more than 9,000-square-foot Spiritual Life Center at Ellsworth Correctional Facility (ECF) with classrooms, a library, chaplains’ offices, and a worship sanctuary. Right Track President, Exie Barber, is also pastor of Assembly of God of Ellsworth, and leads weekly Bible studies at ECF, mentors parolees, and assists chaplains.

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Christina Darnell

Christina Darnell is a freelance writer who has contributed to WORLD, The Charlotte Observer, and other publications.

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