Skylar wasn’t sure what to expect when he got invited to participate in YOKE’s Summer Adventures. He didn’t know anyone and he feared he wouldn’t be able to fit in or make friends. Skylar was also carrying an additional burden. Earlier that year, he’d witnessed the death of his little brother in a traffic accident as the two played together in front of their home.
“It rocked our family and left him questioning God, his own place in the world, and how to function through the guilt,” said Skylar’s mom, Heather. “He no longer smiled, he wasn’t connecting with people, and he feared he might never be seen as anything other than wounded ever again.”
When we asked him what his first experience with YOKE was like, he breathed a sigh of relief and smiled. “Normal,” he said. Skylar made friends, exchanged phone numbers and eagerly anticipated the beginning of a new school year.
“YOKE changed the way I thought about God, about people, and about myself,” said Skylar.
“The staff and YOKE Folk helped me through some tough times by talking with me, encouraging me, and by offering wisdom in my grieving. Having YOKE to look forward to each week saved me.”
One of Skylar’s favorite memories is from camp later that year, where he made a decision to follow Jesus. “They had this giant sledgehammer and smashed all kinds of stuff! I was wet and dirty with chunks of watermelon all over me. I hadn’t laughed that hard in a very long time,” he said. “That felt good, just to be a kid.”
“YOKE gave my son life again,” said Heather. The relationships and experiences put a smile back on his face. I’m thankful every time he comes home sweaty, covered in whipped cream and mud, and smiling from ear to ear because it means one less day of pain and guilt for him. I hope that people will continue to invest in this beautiful, amazing program that gives so much to so many.”
When you give to YOKE, this is the kind of transformation that you make possible. Would you consider making your year-end gift to YOKE to help us continue reaching young people like Skylar? Mail your gift to YOKE at P.O. Box 3492, Knoxville, TN 37927. Or make a secure gift online anytime with your credit card.
We are grateful for your partnership!