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A collection of stories from leaders, students and parents involved with Northshore Younglife.
June 20
A Glimpse Into Discipleship Weekend

​By Sammy Choi, Area Director 

Over the Memorial Day Weekend students from our area joined other areas from all over Puget Sound to take part in Discipleship Weekend, and it was one of the most encouraging experiences I have had since coming on staff.  It was even more of a special weekend for everyone as it was the first time that the new club room was filled with students.  I wish you all could have been there to experience the energy that filled that room.  It truly was incredible!

I also had the honor and privilege to be one of the speakers over the weekend helping lead morning devotionals for those attending camp.  I was certainly nervous, not only because of the platform of the setting and new building, which in itself was nerve-racking enough, but also because I take sharing the message of Jesus seriously, and I wanted to do it justice.  However, what I realized quickly was that there wasn’t anything to be fearful of when it came to the message and good news in sharing the life and works of Jesus.  It’s actually exciting news, and one that I couldn’t be more overwhelmed to share because of the life and hope that it brings. 

Why wouldn’t someone want to share that?  My job was the easy job. The hard work, as always, was done by the incredible and sacrificial leaders.  Throughout each day leaders sat with students and helped them process what they heard, and how it was relevant to their lives.  This is no easy feat as we all have our own individual stories, our unique paths that have brought us to where we are, and how all of that creates the lens in which we see and experience the world.  These leaders took that daunting task and led with humility and honesty, and what I saw was students growing deeper in their walks with Jesus because of it.  This is exactly what we as Young Life set out to do - introducing students to Jesus and helping them grow in their faith. 


In all, over 350 students attended this weekend where they intentionally sacrificed their holiday weekend to go up to Malibu and grow deeper in their faith.  To see a young and diverse collection of students actively seeking Jesus, asking tough and honest questions, coming to understand that God encounters them in their pain and hurt, and learning the importance of community as they journey in life is why I do what I do.  It is why I love what I do.  It is why our leaders and support team members love what they do.  It’s important and valuable work, and I can’t be more thankful for the opportunity that I get to take part in that.  
April 24
Experiencing God's Love | A Student Testimony


By Jason Paratore, Senior, Woodinville High School

Hi there! My name is Jason Paratore and I am a Senior at Woodinville High School. I first started going to Woodinville Young Life at the beginning of my sophomore year of high school. I was amazed by the atmosphere the minute I walked into my first club; I was greeted with the sight of a sea of people laughing together and playing some of the most amusing games I have ever witnessed. I continued to go to club for the rest of the year. At the end of each Club, we would here a quick story from the Bible and how it relates to our lives, but more importantly we were hearing about a love that Jesus has for us.

We learned about how we are all chosen and loved beyond our imagination by a God which growing up I knew nothing about. Then one club we were told about an opportunity to go to a camp up in Canada called Malibu. All of my friends had signed up in the first week of hearing about it; I decided that I should as well. And when the time came to go up to Malibu I had no clue what to expect and after traveling for a painfully long 13 hours, I finally discovered what all the hype was about. We got off the boat and were welcomed by a tunnel of cheering work crew kids who were more than excited to see all of us beginning what would be the greatest week of each and everyone of our lives.

At Malibu everything seemed perfect. Everybody got along and everybody was making lifelong friends. We ran through a mud course in the pitch black and we even had a carnival where our goal was to win enough games so that we could either pie our leader. We had our own Olympic games where each cabin competed for bragging rights and we had a dance party under the stars. Every night the whole camp would have club together, we all shamelessly sang our hearts out to Taylor Swift and Katy Perry and laughed at the absurd games people would unknowingly be called up to play.

But just like the clubs we had in Woodinville we would spend some time hearing about the life that Jesus had lived and the love that he had for each and everyone of us. We would then go back to our cabins and talk to our peers on a deep level unlike anything I have experienced before. We opened up our lives to each other and didn’t hold back on what was going good or bad in our lives. I was also able to connect and talk to complete strangers working there at the camp, they were excited to talk to me about their lives and how God has changed their lives as they went through the same things that I was struggling with at the time and it was because of these people that I began to understand that God was the answer to the struggles that I couldn’t seem to get away from in my day to day life at home. It was at Malibu sitting out on the dock that I decided that I needed to give my life to Jesus and let him fix me where I was broken and to put my life on the right track.

Coming back from Malibu I was feeling encouraged to start my life with Jesus but life at home is not like life at Malibu. I felt like nothing had changed and began to fall back to the same place that I was before I left for Malibu. If it wasn’t for my Young Life Leader that continued to push me to a better place and continued to point me to the person that Jesus was and through him my faith grew. And with him and another short weekend back up in Malibu I found myself in love with God and wanting more and more of him in my life.

One day I felt myself being called to do something greater with my life and felt God calling me to sign up for Work Crew at a Young Life camp over the summer after my Junior year. Work Crew is an opportunity offered to high schoolers and early college aged students that allows kids to serve for a whole month at a Young Life Camp somewhere in the US. I found myself traveling back up Malibu for a full month to simply wash dishes for the camp for 8 hours every single day. If i had the chance I would to it again in a instant, I got a chance to be that cheering kid welcoming people off the boat to the beginning of the best week of their lives.

I witnessed God’s grace and love for all of the campers as they felt the pure joy that I had felt as a camper. Over my month serving at Malibu,  I saw 543 kids my age give their life to God and begin a journey that would change their lives the same way that my time in Malibu changed mine. Since my time on Work Crew, amazing things have been happening in my life. I had the chance to speak about the impact of Young Life has had on my life at my Area’s fundraising banquet. Now, I’m a Wyldlife Leader at my old Middle School. This summer I get to lead a group of boys to Young Life camp in Oregon - Washington Family Ranch - where I get to witness God’s love also change my boy’s lives.

How Can I Further The Mission of Young Life?

Young Life Leaders bridge the gap between kids and the Gospel. Our Woodinville Younglife and Wyldlife Leaders meet kids where they are at, reaching the farthest out kid, with the hope that they might know the love of Christ. Support the mission of Young Life in Northshore so students like Jason continue to hear the good news of Jesus!​

March 20
Life-Long Leading | What Young Life Leading Means to Us

By Brian & Lindsey Wolfe, Bothell & Inglemoor Team Coordinators

Brian and I both graduated from Snohomish High School, which is where we both were introduced to Young Life. Ultimately, having Young Life at Snohomish High School is the avenue in which the love of Jesus reached us.

Joel & Brian

Brian was going through high school at a time when Young Life was revamping and gaining traction. Brian’s dad was an executive pastor at a pretty large church in the Snohomish Area, so he grew up in a home where going to church was part of their weekly routine. 


Brian attended Young Life Club every week as a freshman in high school, where he met his young life leader Joel. Because of his busy schedule as a 3-sport athlete, he was never able to attend summer camp, but the investment Joel put into their relationship in the everyday ups and downs of life.  This is what stuck with Brian, and carried through in their relationship even to this day. 

Joel would open up his home, hang out and be willing to share life with a high school kid. He was there to listen, to guide and to teach. Even to this day, he is wise counsel for Brian to call upon. His willingness to invest in Brian had a lasting impact and created a lifelong friendship. Joel was just recently celebrating with us on our wedding day, alongside Lindsey’s young life leader, Lizzy. 

Lindsey & Lizzy

Lindsey met Lizzy in middle school, as the middle school’s  track coach. A few years younger than Brian, Lindsey didn’t start attending Young Life until another cute student (sorry, Brian) told her to come to this awesome summer camp her sophomore year of high school. She loaded the bus, knowing a few girls, and “Coach Bailey” who would now be her leader at camp. That week was the first time Lindsey really heard about who Jesus was, and what a relationship with him could look like. 


Coming home from camp, Lindsey got involved with Club, and campaigners. Lizzy evolved from not only a coach in Lindsey’s life but to a Young Life Leader. Eventually she became Lindsey’s boss at the Bailey Family’s 100-year-old farm during the summer, and into college she continued to mentor Lindsey, as Lindsey began to lead in Snohomish. Lizzy and Lindsey have traveled internationally together, and to this day she remains a mentor to Lindsey and they are still great friends. 

Life-Long Relationships & Impact

The impact that these adult leaders had on two high school kids, is one that shaped the way we aim to lead kids in the Northshore School District. As Joel and Lizzy modeled, we also strive to lead with openness, consistency, patience and understanding. And most of all, we aim to mirror the love of Christ poured out for us through them, for our students. We are so incredibly thankful for the many years Joel and Lizzy have poured into our lives and we hope all leaders and community members understand the value of every minute and opportunity they spend with kids. Truly, these relationships can last a lifetime, and all it takes is saying “yes.”


How Can I Further The Mission of Young Life?

Young Life Leaders bridge the gap between kids and the Gospel. Our Team Coordinators go a step further by dedicating their lives to the mission of Young Life to reach the farthest out kid, with the hope that they might know the love of Christ. Support the mission of Young Life by continuing to send people like Lindsey & Brian to reach the farthest out kid. 

January 18
Full Heart | A Student Testimony

A Student Testimony by Torrey Lind, Senior, WHS


Hello everyone! My name is Torrey Lind and I’m a Senior over at Woodinville High School. I have been involved with Young Life for almost 3 years now. Young Life, albeit funny and crazy in nature, has brought me great peace and joy.


As a sophomore in high school, the initial excitement of starting high school began to settle. I found myself beginning to feel overwhelmingly muted in the haze of school work and sports, which consumed most of my time outside of school. I found myself unable to connect with old friends that I had made in junior high, and was in a constant state of anxiety over my appearance and whether I was “fitting in”. As much as I wanted to reconnect with people, my efforts seemed worthless and even futile, as if people ceased to notice my existence.


One day, I overheard a kid in my chemistry class talking about some event he went to the previous night, and how he had to eat sardines covered in caramel sauce. Curious as to what kind of ludicrous gathering this was, he informed me that he had gone to Young Life, and urged that I go the coming Monday. I convinced myself that I had nothing better to do but see for myself what this frenzy was all about.


That night, I showed up at precisely 7:27 as I had been told, rather apprehensive of what I was about to walk into. As soon as I walked in, I was warmly welcomed by many kind and energetic people who introduced themselves and began to talk to me. For the first time in months, my heart was crowded with an overwhelming sense of admiration and warmth. It was as if someone had retrieved my soul from the maelstrom of despair that had been controlling my life. I have been going to Young Life every week since that day, excited to learn how much God loves everyone of us, and how healing His word is to our souls.


Now, as a student leader, I have the gracious opportunity to welcome all who walk through the same doors as I did, and to help create an intimate environment where students feel unfettered, honored, and most importantly loved.

How Can I Further The Mission of Young Life?
Young Life Leaders bridge the gap between kids and the Gospel. Our Woodinville Younglife and Wyldlife Leaders meet kids where they are at and in the mission of Young Life, reach the farthest out kid, with the hope that they might know the love of Christ. Support the mission of Young Life in Northshore so students like Torrey continue to hear the good news of Jesus!

January 16
God Can Redeem ANYTHING

By Wayland Cossey, Woodinville Young Life Team Coordinator

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Before there can be redemption there is pain. Our story is a testimony to that.

I grew up in Woodinville, Washington, a small town in the Greatter Seattle area, and both my wife Courtney and I came to know Jesus Christ through Woodinville Young Life some 20+ year ago. My parents, both teachers, raised me well but with no spiritual foundation. Soon after graduation from college, Jesus called Courtney and I to be volunteer Young Life leaders in the inner city and we later moved into a house just north of Seattle and began serving at the local high school, Lynnwood High School.   

All of that changed on April 26rd, 2013. I received a phone call from my brother-in-law informing me that he had found my father murdered in the simple, one-story home I grew up in. My father, a groomsman in my wedding and close friend was beaten to death and the house of my childhood, a place I adored, had been ransacked and marred.   

I can count on one hand the amount of times that I audibly have heard the voice of God and Sunday, April 28th, 2013, was one of those times. Only two days after my father’s murder, Courtney and I drove to church in silence, overwhelmed by grief, when God spoke to us. The Lord told us that we would not be selling the house and property that contained those haunting memories--we would be moving back in.

The Lord spoke a vision into our lives that changed everything. We would move back to our hometown of Woodinville, demolish the home of my childhood, and build a new two-story home to host Woodinville High School Young Life, then dormant at the time.  Upstairs, we would build the world’s greatest Young Life room, large enough to hold 100 souls. God’s redemption was at hand and our family simply needed to be obedient in the face of tragedy.   


We moved quickly, hired an architect, builder, and then asked God to resource His vision. Over 20 friends converged on the home to do demolition one summer weekend and I watched my childhood home turn into rubble. The only thing left was the foundation and the garage where my father passed away.  We moved in with Courtney’s parents during the year the construction took place, helped re-start Woodinville Young Life, and invited those who had walked with us during our journey to write scripture on the walls, floors, and ceilings of the new home. We invited the Lord to redeem the home and the Holy Spirit to bless every person that would walk in the doors.   

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We will never forget the first Young Life Club at our new home, Monday September 22nd, 2014.  77 pairs of shoes were scattered inside our door, symbolic of the thousands of current and future kids we will serve and bless. That evening was powerful as we tangibly experienced what the Lord was building—we were just along for the ride to tell about it.    

As volunteer Team Coordinators for the Woodinville area, we simply do what countless other Young Life saints are doing across the world--introduce the next generation to the God of miracles and redemption. We walk with kids in their pain and brokenness and help them know that it isn’t the end of the story. God can redeem anything!

November 28
Despite Shenanigans

​By Evan Hoover, Northshore Staff Associate

Hey Northshore community! My name is Evan Hoover, I've been your staff associate for over a year and a half now and would love to tell you a little bit about myself and why I love Young Life so much. I was raised a couple suburbs over in Edmonds, WA where I had a two amazing Young Life leaders who continuously poured into me throughout high school despite years of adolescent shenanigans. 


In early 2015 I found myself drawn to the Bothell community and fully embraced the wonderful welcome I received as a Young Life leader. From day one as a volunteer leader in a dark cement floored basement to now as I sit along side my full-time coworkers in our new warm office, Northshore has been a beautiful place to call home. 

Young Life has taught me much, tested my heart, and challenged me to draw closer to God to serve the young people in this community well. It is truly a blessing to belong to something bigger than myself; whether it’s standing in the bleachers at basketball games, serving at camps for six weeks in the summer, joining families at their dinner table, or taking a car full of kids to church. 


The deeper the Lord calls me into Young Life the more I am surprised by what the young people in this community have to give one another and even myself. This is why I love the mission of Young Life so much. It is amazing to see the growth of the young men and women as they draw closer to God. Seeing them embrace scripture, love their peers, challenge what is told to them, and seek further understanding is truly the most rewards gift this job has to offer.

How Can I Further The Mission of Young Life?
Young Life Leaders bridge the gap between kids and the Gospel. Our Staff Associates go a step further by dedicating their lives to the mission of Young Life to reach the farthest out kid, with the hope that they might know the love of Christ. Support the mission of Young Life by continuing to send people like Evan to reach the farthest out kid. 

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November 21
Younglife Leadering

By Alissa Sandoval, Woodinville Younglife Leader & Northshore Area Administrator

Hello All! My name is Alissa and I'm one of Woodinville Younglife's Volunteer Leaders. I was born in Northern California and moved up to Washington with a hope to start from scratch. From that prompting, I was brought to Younglife. Because of Younglife, I will never be the same. Being a Younglife Leader is hands-down one of the greatest joys in my life and I'm so thankful to be a part of this amazing ministry. 

In addition to helping out with Club on Mondays, myself and several other volunteer leaders in Woodinville, find ways to invest in the lives of kids. What does my life look like on a daily basis? Lots of coffee dates,  Group Snapchatting - Yep. Snapchat has group snap now - and spending my free time with the most amazing young women. Every day I am given a glimpse of the lives of kids living in my community and am humbled by the invitation that they extend when they invite me into their journey. Kids invite their Younglife leaders to walk alongside them through the ups and downs of life (our campaigner group calls them happies and crappies). 

What humbles me most as a leader, is when they support you through life's ups, downs and all arounds as well. It's insanely humbling and the greatest blessing. As a leader you always hope that they let you in to their world, but you rarely think about them wanting to join yours. You seek Jesus together - in all of the mess and joy that life brings and discover what it means to follow Him in every season of life. It's my deepest hope that they may fully understand the love that Jesus has for them and then want to share that love with others in return. 


These girls challenge me daily. From, "Alissa will you be at church this morning?" all the way to "Alissa, go talk to that boy!" they push me to grow as a leader and a young woman in Christ. So ladies, thank you for being your goofy selves. Thank you for pushing me to be a better leader and follower of Jesus. Thank you for doing life with me everyday. Thank you for being encouragements in the valleys and cheerleaders at the mountaintops. It is a privledge to be your Younglife Leader and I can say with full confidence, that Jesus loves each one of you deeply. Here's to many more years of coffee dates, Late Lunches and Group Snaps. 

How Can I Further The Mission of Young Life?

Young Life Leaders bridge the gap between kids and the Gospel. Support the mission of Young Life by continuing to send people like Alissa to reach the farthest out kid in Woodinville, WA. 


 About this blog

About this blog
Welcome to Northshore Young Life's Blog! Check-in here to get updates from Leaders, Students and Parents that have been impacted by the work of YoungLife.


Young Life Northshore | PO Box 2859 Woodinville, WA 98072-2859

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