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We are looking for 1000 people to give $10 on October 10, in hopes of raising a total of $10,000 for Young Life in Michiana. Why? Kids lives are transformed as Young Life Leaders introduce them to Jesus. Check out the transformed world of Max Langer…
Like many high school freshmen Max was trying to fit in, excel at sports, and pick up girls. While his appearance seemed normal, Max was struggling internally. He was battling with anxiety, depression, and issues at home.
He began smoking weed in hopes of escaping reality, and he was constantly seeking acceptance from others. He kept trying to fill the emptiness in his life, to answer the always-present question of why? “Why do I feel this way?”
One day after wrestling practice, a junior on the team, Dan, asked Max if he wanted to hangout after and come to Young Life. Max was a little hesitant at first, but he wanted to impress the upperclassman and Dan wasn’t taking no for an answer. At the Young Life club that night, Max felt awkward. He stood off in a corner listening to other kids belt out songs and watching them dance. While it felt a little strange, he noticed how much fun everyone was having and the contagious joy of the room. Max knew he wanted to be apart of this Young Life thing and the next week Dan didn’t have to extend an invite, Max was sold.
Young Life quickly became a large part of Max’s identity. He started hanging out with YL kids, going to “Campaigners” Bible study every week and he even decided to go to summer camp. It was during that week at camp that Max heard in a deep and personal way about Jesus and how he died on the cross. One night, Max decided he wanted to accept Jesus into his heart – from that point on Max did not feel empty or question his self-worth. Gone were the days of questioning his importance and looking to drugs and girls to fill a hole.
As Max was getting ready to make his college decision, he was dead set on Ohio State. At the last minute though, he felt God calling him to attend the University of Notre Dame. When he arrived in Michiana he again felt called, this time to get involved with Young Life. It was not until months after volunteering, when Max was helping lead a trip to a camp in Michigan, that Max met Michael.
Michael, a junior at Adams High School, had signed up for camp last minute and was not involved with Young Life prior to the weeklong trip. Sensing his shy nature, Max reached out to Michael and one night asked him, “Tell me about yourself?” Three hours later, Max and Michael were still deep in conversation, as Michael opened up about his constant battle with depression and social anxiety.
As Max put it, “I could tell he wanted to be loved, and he reminded me a lot of myself at that age, struggling with a lot of the same things.” Flash forward to today – Max and Michael hang out regularly and love checking out local thrift stores together. Max says that since camp he has seen Michael open up, become more comfortable around others, and actively pursue a relationship with Jesus.
For Max, it all started with a simple invitation from an older teammate named Dan. For Michael, it was an enthusiastic Notre Dame student showing interest in him, a high school student battling depression. What has made these relationships possible is the support of the community – and these relationships introduce kids to the most important One of all, a personal and eternal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Thank you for visiting our website, and we hope you consider donating $10 to the Young Life Michiana ministry. We appreciate your support and if you would like to get involved with or know more about Young Life, email Brad Sytsma at email@example.com or call (574) 287-3596.
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Above: YL Leaders Chris Dant, Jake Stier, and Max Langer.