BY HANNAH LESTER
East Alabama Youth For Christ held its annual Comedy Cafe event last week featuring comedian Brad Styne. The event is an opportunity for YFC to share about the ministry over the last year and ask for support for the coming year.
“The Lord has and is enlarging our territory,” said Tabitha Vasilas, executive director of YFC East Alabama. “It was not on my strategic plan, our strategic plan for this to happen, but we went very swiftly from five county charter area to now we’re in six counties. We just recently added, back in June, Randolph county to our reach and area of service. We went from serving four ministry sites pre-COVID to now we’re serving 10.”
Volunteers and staff members have also increased, allowing the number of children reached to increase as well.
The group’s financial resources also increased over the past year, Vasilas said.
“We have added 21 monthly donors since this event last year,” she said. “Now, that may not sound like a lot but if you’ve ever run an organization that is a really hard task and a really phenomenal accomplishment. By God’s grace, he has allowed us to do that.”
Additionally, following the first night of the event, which was a two-night event, ten more monthly donors pledged.
“We have been able to be a part of God’s kingdom advancement,” she said. “And this is what I’m most excited to share with you, because of all the increase with money, with laborers, with access, we have been able to share the good news of Jesus with over 400 kids, 6th to 12th graders just since January of this year.”
That involved 15 children choosing to give their lives to Christ, Vasilas said.
“Any time you get to be a part of God’s resurrection power in those moments there is absolutely nothing more exhilarating and nothing more exciting than that,” she said.
Participants at Tuesday’s event were able to hear from board members, interns, former YFC children, volunteers and current children in the programs.
Comedian Brad Styne was the main focus of the event and brought his stylings to Opelika for YFC.
“For over 20 years, Brad Stine has been by far the most unique Christian comic in the country,” The YFC website said. “His desire to mix his style of intelligent and relatable comedy observations has always been supplemented by his desire to inspire believers to be bold and unapologetic about their faith in Christ. This approach has made him a sought-after comic for the “right”, appearing numerous times on Fox & Friends, Huckabee, CNN, as well as on numerous Christian broadcasts. The accolades he has received from the likes of Tucker Carlson to Eric Metaxas and ministry leaders from Promise Keepers to mega-church pastors (and everyone in between) has made him one of the most influential Christian comics, actors, writers, and apologists in the nation.”
Not only did Vasilas and board members encourage financial donations, but Styne himself, so YFC can continue the work it does in the lives of children.
“This isn’t a $30,000-a-year ministry. It’s a $300,000-a-year ministry,” he said. “And they really need monthly gifts. And here you are. You’ve been chosen to be here tonight. You thought, ‘Gee, Brad, just being amongst your genius was enough for us.’ No, I’m afraid God roped you in so He could help you help your life move forward exactly in the way that He needs you tonight. Please consider giving on a monthly basis.”
For more information on YFC or to give, visit: www.insideyfc.com.