Did y’all know that I have a second brother? That’s the best way I can describe the guy I grew up with who: is my brother’s best friend, regularly raided our refrigerator, traveled with us, spent holidays with our family, and teased me as incessantly as Mac. I think it’s the last point that qualifies him to have the honorable title of “second brother”. I was the ‘good girl’. Mac and Oscar have a track record they will work tirelessly to hide from their children. Funny, my daddy has the same thing: stories about the trouble he got into that he probably never wanted his kids to know about, but stories his kids repeatedly desire to tell a perfect stranger. I should share them some day. They’re classic! Anyway, I digress.
Oscar married his better half, Candis, in 2004. Candis is pure sweetness. I don’t know how Oscar ended up with her. Oh, I jest. I’ve got to have an avenue to which I can return some of the teasing I’ve received for nearly all of my life! By the way, the teasing from my two brothers hasn’t let up! I haven’t had the privilege of tasting the goodies Candis bakes, but the pictures I’ve seen look out of this world! And I know she’s won a few baking contests lately, confirming I need to get my hands on her treats. Oscar and Candis have three kiddos: two young boys, Asher and Ezra, and one little girl, Caris. They currently live in Phoenix, AZ and serve with Student Venture, the branch of Campus Crusade for Christ that serves among high schoolers. Oscar and Candis were personally impacted by the Lord during their youth and know the value of ministering to teenagers. They’ve seen the need to make an impact on today’s youth. They equip students by discipling them through small group Bible studies and providing ministry resources during the school year. During the summers, they also take students across the country and the world, to build upon the love God has for the nations in the students’ hearts. Their basic ministry model is called Build-Send where they win students to Christ, build them in their faith, and send them out to reach others.
Why am I writing about Oscar and Candis? First, as a parent, I am more profoundly aware of the statistics and the unsettling issues facing the youth of today. We have our heads buried in the sand if we’re not aware of the tumultuous environment our kiddos walk in every day, or think our children won’t face those struggles themselves. I want people like Oscar and Candis who are wise; who make decisions with integrity; who respect others; who step out and do courageous things even when the rest of the world thinks what they do is absurd; who have a living and active relationship with Jesus Christ; who serve wholeheartedly to see high schoolers know Jesus’ grace and glory, His amazing power to transform their lives and help them through anything through which they’re struggling. I want people like Oscar and Candis to have an impact on Brennan and other kids during their youth. Brennan isn’t always going to look to me and his daddy for help and guidance. Prayerfully, people like Oscar and Candis will be there when the time comes to invest in Brennan, leading by example and encouraging him to make right choices.
Secondly, Oscar and Candis are transitioning from Phoenix to Boston where they have a goal “to lead a dynamic ministry team who will equip students to walk with Jesus”. As you can imagine, the cost of living is significantly higher in Massachusetts than it is in Arizona, and as Student Venture staff, Oscar and Candis not only raise all of their financial support, they need 100% of it before they can move. They are looking for prayer partners to support them in their ministry to high schoolers. They are looking for financial supporters as well.
Before I proceed, let me humbly tell you that while this blog platform is small, my heart nevertheless, is to handle the communication on here responsibly and with the utmost respect for my readers. I have come to you before asking for specific prayer for friends and highlighting significant giving opportunities for individuals, causes, and organizations I hold in high regard. There is not an individual, cause or organization that I’ve written about asking for prayer or financial support that Matt and I do not pray and/or financially support first, before bringing it to you (as well as I can remember over the last three years <grin>). This is an opportunity to support and encourage two people whom Matt and I respect and deeply love who have stepped out in faith to see high schoolers lives transformed by the love and power of Christ. They have a need, and some of you just might be the ones to help fill that need.
For those of you who have a heart for the youth for today, whose heart breaks to see all that they’re are wrestling through and know they need Hope, I’d encourage you to think about the following ways you can be moved to action as led by the Lord:
- Take time to visit Oscar and Candis’ website and read about their ministry. Send them a note of encouragement or take time to pray for them. Maybe you’d be willing to sign up to pray for them regularly, support them financially, or receive their newsletters. There are some fun pictures of their family on the website, too.
- If you were impacted positively by someone during your youth, or if you have children who have a special, godly mentor in their life that you are grateful to be a part of your child’s life in this season, take time to pray for them or send a note of thanks. Personally, I can’t tell you enough how thankful I am for the nursery workers who lovingly take care of Brennan each week! And I know several of you serving in youth ministry capacities. THANK YOU for investing in the lives of our kiddos in Jesus’ Name! Your work and selfless love you invest in the next generation does not go unseen!
- To those of you in the Austin area who would like the opportunity to meet Oscar and Candis and hear more about their ministry first-hand, we are hosting a dinner for them this Saturday, November 6th and would love for you to join us! If you are interested, please email me by Thursday morning.
Dear ones, if you’re left with anything from this post, may it be a reminder to encourage, pray and give thanks for those who pour their hearts and souls into the youth of today to see the next generation fall at His feet and proclaim, “Worthy is the Lamb!”
My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old—things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.