Light the Way - Stephanie Rautio

The day that Jason and learned the life changing news that I was pregnant was a scary and uncertain time. We were 18 years old, Freshmen in college. I remember that day, and the ones following felt like the world and our planned future were crashing down around us. We couldn’t cower and hide, we had to figure out what our new future was going to look like. We decided to get married and raise the baby together. 25 years later we are still married and have two sons together.

The first several years were so hard! I know that we would not have made it with out the support of our family and community.

There is so much more to this story but I will save that for another day. What I want to focus on today is the community who came around us. We had family, friends and our Church come alongside us and teach us about marriage, how to raise our sons, about finances (getting out of debt)….the list goes on. I am so grateful for these people!

Some of you are reading this and found yourself in a similar situation as a teenager, possibly a little younger than I was. All teen pregnancies look different, but all of these parents (and their children) need community to come around them.

Matthew 25:40 say, "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brother and sister of mine, you did for me."

Many of you have heard about Young Life, a Christian ministry that reaches Middle school through collage age students, and introduces them to Jesus. This organization also has a branch called Younglives.

Younglives comes alongside teen moms and their babies to offer them moral, spiritual and other support. Many of these girls have complicated home lives, while they are attempting to raise babies and go to school.The Greater Clackamas Younglives group, run by Jenny Bell and her team of volunteers, meets at Hope City the third Wednesday of each month October-June. At club the babies are in childcare and the Mom’s learn about Jesus but also get to have fun. The volunteers also come alongside the girls during the month as mentors. The girls get the opportunity to attend camp with other Younglives chapters in June.

I’ve seen Jenny and her team rally around and support these girls in so many ways year round!There are a few different ways you can com alongside and help support Younglives.