After my first year volunteering as a YOKE Folk at Rutledge Middle School, a couple of students approached me about starting a Bible study with them. I was skeptical at first, as middle school boys can be quite impulsive. I wasn’t sure anything would come of it, but we decided to give it a try. Since then, the YOKE Bible Study at Rutledge Middle School has really grown. In fact, we haven’t missed a week for two years now. Several of our YOKE leaders have led as many as 10 students through several different studies and we’ve all grown closer to God and to each other.
To me, #YOKEis bridging the gap, turning “buddies” into real “friends.” A buddy is someone that you like to be around, but it’s the type of relationship that can fade over time. The kind of friendships we’ve built through YOKE at Rutledge will last for eternity. Because of YOKE, I don’t see these guys as just middle school kids anymore. They’ve become friends, even family. More importantly, through our work with YOKE, these friends have been able to get connected with God.
One of my favorite memories of YOKE is watching these kids serve where they are. A small group of middle school girls began having a prayer meeting before school. It started out with only a few students but grew to include up to 30 students at times! They simply met to pray for each other and their school. I have seen God change lives– and nothing can beat that. YOKE is so much more than silly songs and shaving cream pies. It’s all about Jesus.