Shaping desire, elevating service, sharing life.
Youthfront Justice Initiatives begin with the longing for a more free, more just world that is already inside of youth. But it’s a longing that is unnamed and underdeveloped. Through intentional, spiritual formation times, we help youth connect the dots and see the brokenness city and their world, and how Jesus longs to bring healing and reconciliation. Youthfront Justice Initiatives push youth to think beyond themselves, shaping their desire for reconciliation to include a broadening circle of people who face even greater depths of alienation.
“Serving others is good. It’s a start. But it’s just the hallway that leads to the Grand Ballroom of kinship with others.”
-Fr. Greg Boyle, Homeboy Industries
Through Youthfront Justice Initiatives, youth will engage in tangible expressions of Christ’s love like painting a neighbor’s house in Kansas City or building a school in Mexico not only because it blesses others but because developmentally, youth connect with concrete, immediate action. But what we’re more interested in is something that goes both ways. When service is only one way and can’t be reciprocated, its really hard to be friends and truly view the other as equal. We all need one another even if we don’t realize it yet.
“If you’ve come here to help me, you’re wasting your time. But if you realize your liberation is tied to mine, then let’s work together.”
-Lila Watson, aboriginal activist
To move from service towards kinship, we have to put the tools and paintbrushes aside. When we share a Coke or are invited to eat someone’s home-cooked bbq and we relax and listen to one another, something happens. People who were once strangers, maybe even people who might have been afraid of each other before, suddenly don’t seem so scary. They become human. And when we work alongside the youth of Argentine or masons in Mexico, we take a step to take the spotlight off of ourselves and make locals the heroes in their own community. On Youthfront Justice Initiatives, we try to foster these moments and postures towards others that open the door to friendship.