Kaboose to Entertain at VC Teen Center

TR Staff
Staff Writer

By Ellie Boese
Students in grades 7-12 are invited to the Valley City Teen Center on Thursday, March 28th. James Valley Youth For Christ will be hosting hip hop recording artist Kaboose from 7-9 p.m., where food, music and fun will all be in one place (no cover charge for the event).
Throughout North Dakota, there are Youth for Christ chapters in Williston, Fargo, Minot, Dickinson, Jamestown and Grand Forks. In 1995, James Valley Youth for Christ was incorporated as a local chapter.
When the Community Christian Youth Center, in which Gunderson had his office, disbanded in 2004, it turned its property over to YFC to serve as a place to hold after-school activities on a larger scale. The remodeled building opened in 2005 and continues to be a visible representation of the popular YFC ministry in Jamestown. It recently expanded as a satellite to Valley City.
James Valley YFC Executive Director Troy Gunderson grew up part of a YFC group and spent some time as a volunteer before taking a position within the organization. He started his YFC service in 1995 in Minot and moved to Jamestown in 1997 to take his position as executive director.
“I’ve been in the chair 22 years. It’s a great position,” Gunderson says. “With my personality—I’m very creative, a doer and I love working with youth—this position allows me to use all of my skills.”
James Valley YFC has full-time and part-time personnel who travel to Valley City to minister here but are hoping to find someone from Valley City to be a part of the YFC ministry.
“We would love to have a part-time person in Valley City on staff,” Gunderson says, “and we are actively looking for someone to serve in that role.”
Executive Director Gunderson recalls that this YFC concert on the 28th marks something else for the group.
“April marks one year since we held our first community forum in Valley City,” Gunderson says.
That first community forum, Gunderson says, had a great turnout and ended with names on a sign-up list. Shortly thereafter, James Valley YFC started an Area Support Team to get the satellite ministry established.
“Between spring and fall of last year, a lot happened,” Gunderson says, “and we started our weekly meetings a couple weeks into the regular school year. The concert could be considered a celebration of sorts of the progress we have made in just one year.”
James Valley YFC holds meetings every Thursday evening at the Teen Center for 9th-12th graders to hang out, play games and discuss relevant topics about life and faith.
This concert will be the first YFC event of its kind in Valley City and features an artist who has done a few performances for James Valley YFC.
“Ron Wilson, aka Kaboose, has performed for YFC in Jamestown before,” Gunderson says. “He does a great job with them and the kids really like him. This is the first time we’ve had an event like this in Valley City.”
The national YFC was founded in 1944 with Billy Graham as its first employee. It now has active ministry in over 100 countries, with each group led by individuals and groups best equipped to reach their own youth (all of the leaders are local in their countries) and the group estimates that each year, more than 100,000 youth hear and respond to the Gospel brought by YFC ministry. The organization celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.
As James Valley YFC presents this concert, it seems clear that the group’s 50+ year-old slogan, “Anchored to the Rock, Geared to the Times,” still reigns. It speaks to YFC’s dedication to bringing the message of Christ’s hope, grace and love to youth, while being able to adapt to different cultural and social settings to best deliver that message.
“This is open to all students in 7-12th grade,” Gunderson says. “We would love to see everyone come and enjoy it.”
Financial support is always welcomed and individuals in Valley City (and elsewhere) can support the work YFC does right here in town by visiting the James Valley YFC webpage, jamesvalley.yfc.net and clicking the “Donate/Contact” tab. For more information about James Valley Youth For Christ, you can contact them at 701-252-5501.