Thanks for taking a few minutes out of your day to catch up with YOKE and to keep us in your prayers. YOKE is all about making disciples, or followers of Jesus. When someone decides to join the movement – as a middle school student, a high school student, a YOKE Folk, staff, or board member – we celebrate it. To me, there’s just something really cool about developing your own leaders, though, so I get really excited about YOKE Kids who grow up to serve as YOKE Folk. I also think it’s one of the best indicators of the success of our program.
Camp is always a great time to celebrate that. Seeing everyone together over the c0urse of 2 weekends is a great reminder of all that God is doing through this ministry. YOKE Alumni were everywhere. In addition to the 3 former YOKE Kids now on staff, more than a third of our YOKE Folk were kids in our program. Now that I’ve been around for 8 years, I’ve had the privilege of seeing it myself. One YOKE Folk, a former YOKE Kid at Northwest Middle, reminded me of that last weekend – she left her YOKE Kids for a second to give me a hug and said, “You’ve really gotten to see me grow up!”
This last weekend I had the additional privilege of picking up 2 young men from my neighborhood and driving them out to camp. In addition to knowing them as YOKE Kids, I had also coached each of them for 3 years at Vine Middle. They’re now students at Austin East and Fulton, but want to stay connected to YOKE through our Future Folk program.
I heard someone ask Jesus, a freshman at Fulton, why he wanted to be a Future Folk. “What’s that?’ he asked. The leader explained to him that Future Folk are what we call YOKE Folk in training. They are usually the ones that serve at camp. “I mean, why did you want to come and serve at camp?” the YOKE Folk continued. “Man, I just love YOKE,” replied Jesus. He doesn’t know or care what we call it; he just knows he wants to be a part of it.
In Acts 2 we get to see how those who walked with Jesus began to live out their countercultural faith in the Roman Empire. I encourage you to read the whole passage, but I’ll share the last couple of verses from the Message translation: “They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God. People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved.”
That’s the kind of community we work hard to create through YOKE and it’s amazing to see it happening. Thanks for all that you do to make that possible. We’re glad to have you on the team!