America’s Resilient Youth
June 22, 2011Print this article
Jason's father is stationed in Afghanistan. A new football, a gift for his 14th birthday, sits untouched in his room until he and his father can break it in. One morning, in the midst of the morning rush, his mother stops as the TV broadcasts an assault on U.S. troops in the Middle East.
Jason's heart races as the phone begins to ring. Was Jason's father anywhere near the attack? Was he okay? As he unconsciously holds his breath, he wonders how long this can go on.
Nearly 1.1 million teens, like Jason, have parents in the military. These teens experience the loss that comes when parents deploy for six to 14 months. They also face the prospect of having to move every few years, leaving their friends behind. Military youth live in constant tension, drudging through circumstances few truly understand.
“For a teenager growing up without a parent for large periods of time as well as living a transient lifestyle, home life can be extremely challenging,” says Dave Keller, program manager for American Bible Society's Armed Services Ministry.
That's why ABS, in partnership with Military Community Youth Ministries (MCYM), launched ReZilient Life, a web-based Bible engagement initiative that's designed to address the problems they face “with the life-changing voice of God through Scripture,” says Keller.
ReZilient Life takes a fivefold approach to meeting the needs of military youth. “SPIES” is an acronym used to address spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional and social needs and seeks to minister to the whole individual.
Lessons are built on Scripture journeys and other resources to guide adolescents through the difficulties associated with military life. Topics include such topics as family, transition, friendship and identity.
Because friendships and community play huge roles in military teens' lives, ReZilient Life provides MCYM youth leaders on military installations worldwide with group resources. That way, youth can engage with God's Word alongside supportive friends.
Visit ReZilientLife's website or find more information about military ministry at ABS's Armed Services Ministry or Military Community Youth Ministries.
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