Youth Core adapts ministries for kids

Fran Brownell
Youth Core Ministry leaders posted this sign on the temporarily-closed Barron marquee in Pratt. They want kids to know God is in control, and mentors are reachable by several technological pathways.

Youth Core Ministries is facing the challenges of COVID-19 in the same manner it faced challenges in the wake of the 2007 Greensburg tornado.

“After the tornado, our worlds were turned upside down,” said YCM Executive Director Deborah Factor. “Our one norm was ‘How do we minister to our kids in the wake of this tragedy?’”

Factor said YCM is now being guided by that same question.

“We have not slowed down, but instead we have ramped up our efforts,” Factor said. “We are grateful to the Lord for technology and fully utilizing it in this season.”

All face-to-face Youth Core Ministries events typically held for youth in Pratt and Kiowa counties have ceased and YCM staff have mobilized their ministry to an on-line format.

“We are regularly checking in with our kids and families. We want to know they are well and, if they need anything, we are here,” Factor said.

YCM is continuing all of its group meetings by Zoom video conferencing.

“Our Core Community programs are doing several Zoom meetings a week and YCM staff are making daily one-minute,” video devotions,” Factor said.

“We are sending out fun video challenges to help bring a little light and fun in this difficult time,” Factor said. “Kids are showing up!”

Pratt Core Life Director Kyle Nauman is making daily one-minute video devotions and sending out video challenges.

“YCM staff members are reaching out to youth every week by phone, text and Zoom to check in and see that they are doing okay, especially, emotionally,” Factor said.

Pratt County Core Mentoring Director Kelsie Nauman is touching base with all the mentors in Pratt, Kiowa and Kingman Counties to make sure they are still connecting to their mentees.

“They are working very hard to see that our 274 mentoring pairs in Pratt, Kiowa and Kingman Counties are still meeting regularly by phone,” Factor said.” They are doing many creative things to help support our mentoring pairs.”

YCM Barron Theater Manager Patty Fox is continuing Friday night curbside popcorn and concession sales from 5 to 7 p.m. to help offset expenses,” Youth Core Development Coordinator Sheryl White said. Phone or text orders are being taken at 620-388-5236.

“If anyone is interested in giving a $50.00 or more donation to the Barron, we will advertise for them with a slide presentation for a month after everything gets back to normal and the Barron is reopened,” White said.

“I am enormously proud of our Youth Core Staff in the midst this current crisis,” Factor said. “They are knocking it out of the park!”