"God is so good!" Those were the words spoken by the Principal of a Buffalo School as we walked into her elementary school auditorium. Linda and I were there to check out the possibility of collaborating with her in a mentoring outreach called the "Bills Night Out." Those words pretty much sum up the 2014 YWAP Year - "God is so good!" You have been a large part of God's goodness; you took the time to bless many children and their families through your generosity. Thanks, we appreciate you.
We are writing to you for several reasons. One of them is to thank you and acknowledge you for supporting YWAP in 2014. If there are any discrepancies in what we have listed for you please let us know. We'd also like to let you know about some of the 2014 YWAP activities that happened because of you. After that we'll give you a glimpse into 2015. We hope you'll stay with us as we build a foundation that will touch many more lives. We want to hear more folks say: "God is so good!"
Thank you again for all you do.
Jesus loves you and so do we.
Bob & Linda Kuebler
Youth With A Purpose Inc.
157 Locust Street
Buffalo, New York 14204
The YWAP Basketball Team came away with another Championship in Block Club Basketball. We are grateful to Urban Christian Ministries for sponsoring this life changing league. Coach Clarence Loft did a masterful job with a large group of very talented guys. At halftime of each game, the guys would gather at half court and listen to a "God Message." The YWAP Director was regularly given the opportunity to speak to the young guys. That's one of the coolest things we get to do - speak about God and pray with kids. If you keep guys shooting basketballs while they hear a life saving message, they'll be less likely to be shooting guns and taking lives. We need to reach more youngsters with a message of love and show them how to spread that message.
Our Mentor Force Program addressed thousands of students in Niagara and Erie Counties. We taught Leadership in elementary schools, high schools and colleges. We visited church youth groups in Western New York, and as far away as Phoenix, Arizona. We spoke to prisoners in Piedmont Correctional Facility (thanks to Chaplain Tom Burger and his wife Sharon.) We visit the Buffalo City Mission on the second Saturday of the month. The first Saturday of every month is reserved for Praise and Worship Night at the Slavonic Christian Church (yes some of the songs are in Russian!) Our band called Alpha & Omega International plays in churches, community centers, birthday parties and picnics. We had a blast at the Sons of God Pig Roast in East Aurora. We are big on audience participation and encourage children to take the microphone and sing along. We also were given the opportunity to share what God is doing in Buffalo while speaking at The Chapel Men's Breakfast.
We've had more major events this year than ever before. In the past 2 months alone, 3 events served as relationship building opportunities with almost 1,500 people. As usual we celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas at the Holy Cross Parish Center where our Youth Center is located. We collaborated with about 10 organizations to make these events happen.
We visited the Mercy Long Term Care Facility at Our Lady of Victory after a Children's Christmas Celebration in Lackawanna. We gave out 300 Cross Necklaces, a case of Bibles along with a large amount of gifts at the YWAP Christmas Celebration at Holy Cross. We were honored to form a relationship with Fred Raines and his crew from Athletes In Action. We took over the co-sponsorship of an event called the Bills Night Out from the Buffalo Christian Center. For the first time ever, the event was held in a Buffalo School. We sold 1,000 tickets and had to reschedule the event due to the Snowvember Storm. We still had approximately 700 people show up. We had 8 Bills Players along with wives and girlfriends come out and share with the audience, It was a phenomenal night! Over 150 people indicated on Response Cards that they prayed with Buffalo Bills Tight End Scott Chandler. We look forward to building on this event and reaching more Buffalo School children next year.
We finished the year off with a visit to Immanuel Church in Java Village, NY. Pastors Scott and Jennifer Johnson invited us to share God's YWAP Story with their congregation. Would your church be kind enough to allow us to share what God is doing in the inner city?
Here are a few other YWAP events from 2014:
- YWAP Crew set up and takes down the Worship Tent at Kingdom Bound.
- Community Cleanup with students from UB, Canisius, Daemen, and Buffalo State.
- Received award from City of Buffalo for our work against bullying.
- Supervisors at Love/Buffalo Breakout; a weeklong evangelistic service project in the neighborhoods of Buffalo.
- Attended the Call To Courage Breakfast sponsored by Athletes In Action.
- Television Appearance on the Buffalo Buzz about reducing poverty.
- Attended the Buffalo Parent Conference.
- Seminar Leaders at the Child Care and Family Resource Network Annual Conference.
- Sponsored the Locked Up Program at Holy Cross - an event informing youth about the high teen incarceration rate.
- Facilitated the Youth Leader Training at the Town of Amherst Summer Program.
- Participated in the Mentor Forum at the Youth Power Summit and Mentor Forum.
- Participated in the Perfect Attendance and Father's Day Ceremony at Buffalo School #3.
- Volunteer with the Buffalo Niagara Healing Rooms.
- Bread donations are delivered to St. Lukes and Set Free Ministries in South Buffalo.
- Disaster Relief with the Christian Youth Corps - we helped homeowners in West Seneca, NY whose homes were damaged by floods.
- Participated in the United Way Spring It On Fundraiser.
YWAP Moving Forward in 2015 and Beyond
Tomorrow (1-13-15,) we'll be training mentors for the Buffalo Urban League. This weekend we'll be teaching Mentorship at the Young Men of Character Conference at the Adams Mark Hotel in Buffalo. January is full of school appearances including Erie Community College, Several Buffalo Schools, and LaSalle Middle School in Niagara Falls. That's just the beginning of a normal YWAP Year! Last Saturday we led worship at a Buffalo Pastor's Conference in Bishop Dockery's Church. On Saturday we combined worship and the Word at the Buffalo City Mission. On Sunday morning we spoke at Last Days Fellowship and Set Free Ministries in South Buffalo.
We're in the planning stages of a summer basketball program that has the potential to reach thousands of kids in Buffalo. We are combining that with an Urban Youth Leaders Development Conference in June. We need to train up a younger crowd to do the work of inner city youth mentoring and ministry. Most of our regular outreach and relationship building programs will continue. We're in the process of building a broader foundation that will enable us to build a sustainable youth program in Buffalo. We believe that as soon as we get the building blocks laid as a solid foundation in our own City, our model will be transportable all over the planet. Yes, we believe that YWAP will help children worldwide, learn how much God loves them.
We've begun the year fasting and asking God to guide us in His direction. We strongly believe that He has given us several words to guide us in the enlargement of YWAP territory. Those words are "focus," "balance," and another word that's a combination of 2 words: "asxult." That's the best spelling we could come up with for "ask" and "exult." Our priority is to help kids learn to love God, themselves and others. We'll be doing more "asking" in the future. Blessings are reciprocal as we receive and give. If we don't ask, we block the reciprocity and generosity of those who give. All of us have been made in the image and likeness of God. Asking and exulting are found in the Bible in the first two chapters of 1 Samuel. A lady named Hannah asks God to become pregnant. God answers her desire; Hannah's "asking" results in a son. Her Prayer of Thanksgiving springs from an exultant heart.
1 Samuel 1:20 New King James Version
20 So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him from the Lord.”
1 Samuel 2:1 New American Standard Bible
Hannah’s Song of Thanksgiving
2 Then Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the Lord; My horn is exalted in the Lord,
My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation.
Romans 5:1-5 New American Standard Bible
Results of Justification
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Thank you for helping us ask God for his help and yours in teaching children how to exult in the hope of His Glory. Jesus loves you and so do we.
Bob & Linda Kuebler