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August 2018 Newsletter

“No greater love has a man than this; that he lay down his life for a friend.” John 15:13

Dear Friends,

When I see and hear a continuing theme all around me I try and pay attention. I assume it’s God trying to get my attention. That’s exactly what’s been happening over the last couple of months.
I recently flew to Orange County, California to meet with a gentleman named Dave Hannah. Dave is running, with his son and daughter in law, an organization called Lift Up America. Lift Up America has started an outreach in the local schools called Ambassadors of Compassion. They have seen over 40,000 students in Orange County over the last 2 years!

This all started a couple of months ago when I was lamenting how broken most of the kids we see in incarceration have become. Substance abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and violence are ongoing topics of discussion with these young people. And the thought occurred to me one day “What if we could reach young people BEFORE all of this trauma happened?” The LifeQuest Mission and Vision statements reference “at-risk and incarcerated youth.” Can anyone please tell me what middle and high school student is NOT “at-risk” in today’s world?

So that precipitated my trip to Orange County where I sat through two presentations to over 300 youth in public high schools. It was AWESOME! They use movie clips from movie stars and athletes to facilitate small group discussions among the students teaching what they call “time-tested life principles.” And the youth were actually participating and talking about these life principles and how they might incorporate them into their lives. But part of the Ambassadors of Compassion programming is service projects. This day the youth were sending short letters to service men and women overseas to encourage and thank them for their service. For those who continue in the weekly program after school begins they are required to do a community and a personal service project. These young men and women are learning the joy of SERVING!

Since then this topic of serving has popped up over and over and over again. Would you pray for us as we attempt to bring the Ambassadors of Compassion program to New Mexico? Not to replace what we’re already doing in the facilities but to supplement. LifeQuest can finally start to reach “at-risk” youth.
Funds are extremely tight during these dog days of summer. Would you prayerfully consider a special gift this month? I thank you in advance.

Serving Together,

John Jones