A Ministry In The Middle Of Sioux Falls
March 7, 2008, 9:39 PM
A new Friday night hangout hopes to give teenagers and twenty somethings direction in life. Unite Youth has opened its doors near the Pettigrew Heights neighborhood in the center of the city, and the youth center's mission is not only to give kids a place to go, but to also grow in faith.
Inside a renovated central Sioux Falls building that had stood vacant for many years a group of youth is trying to breathe new life into a troubled part of town.
Life Church College Pastor Daniel Grenz says, "I definitely see it as a light in a dark area."
And Unite Youth is providing that light through Friday night gatherings.
Bobbi Quade hangs out at the youth center and says, "I was really glad to find a place like this cause I have grown a lot in my faith since being involved with the people here."
It started as a Christian youth group that met in someone's house but has grown into a mission for the center of the city.
Grenz says, "One of the things God said was to go to the least of these, to go to the people that are kind of looked down upon and I know that in this neighborhood there are a lot of people that are just forgotten about, they're not cared about, society just writes them off as good for nothing."
Started by The Life Church in Sioux Falls about two years ago, it's a place where kids from high school to college can play games, get a cup of coffee and relax.
Seth Nelsen says he started coming to Unite Youth a few months ago, "That age group is always looking for something to do and for this to be available to them it's a great opportunity to share God's love with them, a great opportunity to form relationships with people you can trust."
People that young people can trust, in a part of town that has been troubled.
Grenz says, "So it's awesome that they're comfortable and that they're open and understand we're not going to kick them out, throw them to the curb, but we are here to bring light to some darkness."
Every Wednesday night Unite Youth has gatherings for high school students, Friday night's gatherings are for college-aged students, and on Sunday's the Life Church holds services at the youth center.
Organizers say they are looking to get similar youth centers going in other parts of Sioux Falls in the next five years.
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