Perseverance Leads to Hope

Posted on by Vince Sarfraz KC

The following story was written for Youth For Christ USA. These are real YFC Stories showing how God is using YFC USA as a vehicle in raising up life-long followers of Jesus all across the nation.

Brian and I will continue to do life together.

“Brian was involved in a physical altercation using his long board to hit an older gentleman.” Not the news I was hoping to receive, as Brian was joining me on a backpacking trip in a few days. He had just gotten off parole, and I prayed he hadn’t picked up any more charges. We had six other mentors and teens attending the trip, but because of the nature of working with incarcerated youth, two other teens were on the run. One was back in prison. 

As you can imagine, the news of Brian’s altercation was disheartening for many reasons. However, he was granted permission to join me on the trip. In the end, it was Brian, a local church, and I (from the facility).

The focus of the trip was for Youth For Christ mentors to connect further with the incarcerated teens and to partner with the local church in providing a new community as teens get out of youth prison — all of this, while hoping to reflect on God’s creation and the love of Christ, which can transform us.

The relationship between Brian and myself was strengthened as we talked about the friends he chooses, his parents, his future, and what it will look like now that he is off parole. 

The theme of the weekend was perseverance. Romans talks about how “Suffering produces character, character produces perseverance, and perseverance leads to hope.” We were gone for five days, experienced four lakes, summited one 12,900-foot peak, and hiked many miles. We endured downpours of hail, hiked in rain, swam in mountain water, and ate fish all week.

What takes months to accomplish in the city takes only a few days in the backcountry. The relationship between Brian and myself was strengthened as we talked about the friends he chooses, his parents, his future, and what it will look like now that he is off parole. Most importantly, we talked about how faith fits into his life and his future. His dad is an atheist, and Brian has stuck to trusting only what he has seen. However, he knows that my faith and love for Christ guides me every day.

Brian and I will continue to do life together. My hope is that the strides we made on this trip will strengthen a faith in Jesus Christ that Brian will one day have.

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