Hiding behind stacked boxes and furniture structures a group of area youth were enjoying a NERF™ “battle” game that required they acquire a certain object.

Facing off against youth from the Willmar area, the group of teens was enjoying a bit of unique social interaction in a setting one might not expect. The youth were part of a Youth for Christ program.

Youth for Christ (YFC) has been part of the Redwood area for decades, and under the guidance of Chris Schmitz, local YFC director, the program has provided an opportunity for those teens from seventh grade through those in senior high to have fun and learn about what it means to be a Christian at the same time. 

While the program has unofficially continued throughout the summer months with a variety of activities, the fall kickoff held in conjunction with the start of the new school year, is taking place later this month.

According to Schmitz, the program will kick off Sept. 19 with the annual paint war, which is being held starting at 3:45 p.m.

Those who want to take part are encouraged to meet at 109 West Bridge Street and should wear old pants and a white shirt.

Another NERF™ battle is taking place at the Redwood Area Community Center (RACC) in Redwood Falls at 3:45 p.m.

During the school year, youth in Grades 5-8 meet at the RACC Tuesdays at 3:45 p.m. for activities and programming for an hour.

Schmitz said he is regularly seeing 12-plus youth during those Tuesdays, adding it has been a great opportunity for him to get to know the students and to just hang out and learn what is going on in their lives.

Also during the school year, a Bible study and activities for the senior high students are held at the YFC Center on Washington Street in Redwood Falls starting at 8 p.m. While there are youth who come from other communities, including Wabasso and Morgan, Schmitz said the majority of the teens he is seeing are from Redwood Falls, adding he appreciates the opportunity he has to really get to know them.

“We would love to have kids just come and check out the fun stuff we are doing,” he said. Youth are constantly coming to take part in the local YFC program, and Schmitz is being given the opportunity to let them know about the good news of Jesus when he meets them.

Naturally, he is also looking for others to help, whether that means serving as a volunteer, praying or providing financial support.

In particular, Schmitz said he is looking for some volunteers right now to help out with the programming taking place each week.

To find out more about what the local group is doing, visit the Redwood Falls YFC Facebook Page, or contact Schmitz at (218) 310-2156 or via e-mail at chris@yfcminnesota.com.