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Lewis grew up in a ministry a lot like TFC Connection. Because of this kind of ministry, he fell in love with TFC. As a ministry that is involved with several communities and helps the teens get to know other Christians, Lewis loves TFC. Lewis’s wife Susan helps in many ways at TFC and works at a nursing home. Lewis and Susan have both been a part of the TFC family for 20+ years and love it. Lewis is one of the sound and tech guys at TFC.
Jozef Kuehn grew up in Heartwell, Nebraska. He started with TFC as a student going on mission trips and attending camp. Throughout the past few years he volunteered at camp and was a camp intern this last year. Somewhere along the way, a fire for God and what he could do through Jozef, was started. Currently, he serves as a staff intern. His roles include helping with the technological aspects of the ministry, assisting the Logan group on Mondays, and rotating between Thunder Ridge, Northern Valley, and Southern Valley’s groups on Wednesdays.
Understanding that growing as a disciple is a process, through the years TFC has supplemented what was taught in weekly meetings with a variety of training and/or refreshing “getaway” opportunities. Whether through large conferences or ministry specific student leadership training events, teens have the chance to step away from the everyday routine in order to dig deeper in their walk with Christ and grow in their leadership skills. Through events like 180 Encounters, all-nighters and concerts, teens also have the opportunity to gather with friends from across our ministry area and enjoy extended time to fellowship with one another while growing deeper in their faith.
In 2014 TFC developed this mission trip opportunity in response to the need for short local mission trip experiences. These trips focus on serving rural communities in our area for 2 to 3 days and they provide excellent faith building opportunities for teenagers and the adults who lead them. The trips are designed around the acrostic Surrender, Pray, Look, Ask, and Serve Happily – which is also the structure for these trips. We gather as a team to surrender our lives to God for his use and then we travel to a local community where we pray and begin looking for opportunities to serve as the Lord leads us to projects or people who need a helping hand. We have used this structure for one of the longer mission trips as well.
After attending large youth camps in the Kansas City area for several years in the late 70’s and early 80’s, the ministry leadership decided to begin designing their own camp experience locally in Southern Nebraska. TFC Camp happens over a two-week period each summer at the Camp Joy campground east of Alma, NE. During wild and wacky games, water fun and special events the teenagers develop long-term friendships with other area teens. Spiritual growth occurs through devotions, seminars and messages which encourage campers to take the next step in growing in their relationship with Jesus Christ. TFC Camp provides solid opportunities for teens to grow in the disciple-making process as they are integrated into student leadership positions through a variety of intentional leadership development steps.
Our desire to see teenagers develop a heart for missions was the main force behind the development of mission trip opportunities over 30 years ago. These trips are designed to pull teens out of their comfort zone as they learn to see the needs of others through the lens of the Word of God. With an emphasis on prayer, personal devotions, and an “I’d be glad to” attitude, teens are challenged to see the world through the eyes of Jesus while serving as his hands and feet. Every year we offer several trips and each one is designed for a different level of spiritual maturity with a specific goal of moving students to the next level in the disciple-making process.
TFC provides opportunities to gain hands on experience in rural youth ministry through one of three internship programs. Each of these internship opportunities are designed around a specific “season” of the ministry of TFC and youth ministry as a whole. Whether you are looking to experience the development and production of summer camp, all aspects of summer ministry within TFC (Mission Trips, SPLASH Trips, TFC Camp), or a full year in the trenches of weekly meetings, special events and summer ministry, TFC has a spot for you to grow your faith, develop skills and abilities, and serve the Lord in the context of rural youth ministry and disciple-making.
The heartbeat of TFC is the weekly connection meeting. In locations where TFC provides community youth groups, connection meetings are held weekly and are designed to meet the emotional and spiritual needs of teenagers. Teens are taught the Word of God with the purpose of building a biblical foundation, igniting a passion for the Gospel, and developing the ability to share that message with others as disciple-makers.
Chris and Abbie Cochrun serve together on TFC Staff! Chris grew up in Agra KS as a part of the Easter Heights TFC group, Abbie grew up as a part of the Northern Valley TFC group and they got to know each other through TFC! Chris handles a lot of technician and video related things for TFC and Abbie is TFC’s unofficial graphic designer and also facilitates TFC’s social media pages.
Ethan’s TFC journey began as a teenager, when he started attending weekly meetings in Agra, KS. Throughout his high school years his involvement in the ministry grew, and by the time he went to college the Lord had placed this ministry on his heart as a place God might be calling Ethan back to. After serving in volunteer and intern positions throughout Ethan’s college years, it was only a matter of time before he would join staff here at TFC. Now after five years, Ethan couldn’t imagine being anywhere else! Ethan loves the being a leader in a local group, as well as Co-Camp Director where he gets to work with interns as they learn to plan and execute camp, and there is plenty of variety as he works together with our staff team in all of the “behind the scenes” activity of ministry.
Arnie and April moved to Logan, Kansas in October of 2009. April’s grandfather’s family homesteaded south of Logan and she grew up coming to Logan every year for family reunions. So, when they moved here, it was like moving to her hometown, although she was raised in Colorado. Shortly after they moved here, April joined TFC staff and eventually became the leader of the Logan TFC group. They now co-lead the Logan group with Lewis and Susan Smith from Phillipsburg and they love being part of the community of Logan, getting to know the families and the teens, and teaching the teens about Jesus!
Doug and Jo Mason started as volunteers with TFC when they opened up there home to meetings in Russell, Kansas many years ago. They later moved to Bird City, Kansas and started a new TFC group there. 5 years after that they moved to Oberlin, Kansas to rebuild the Oberlin TFC group. It is at that time when Doug joined the TFC staff. Many years later Doug and Jo continue to run Oberlin TFC from the TFC building located at 118 S. Rodehaver.
Lavonne joined the TFC adventure back in 1983. For years she worked directly with students as a leader of the weekly Connection groups. Her passion for the ministry of TFC is that we will be a disciplemaking ministry imitating Jesus’ strategy for making disciples. Lavonne is currently working as “Disciplemaking Coach” and Co-Camp Director for TFC as she focuses on spurring on individual staff members, interns, and others for the disciplemaking of many.
In the fall of 1981, Janice Lundquist became a part of the TFC Staff. She has served in and enjoyed almost every aspect of the ministry during that time. She currently works with the Thunder Ridge TFC group, working specifically with the Junior High age teens. Carrying on a dream of the staff, Janice is currently working on developing a ministry of encouragement to TFC Alumni to continue building a heart for discipleship in them.
Dan Klinger has been on staff for 37 years. He and Lavada have been married for 34 years. They have 2 grown children. Dan and Lavada have a mission statement, “Called to Make a Difference”. This is their desire as they serve here at TFC.
Noah grew up in TFC. His parents were on TFC staff when he was a kid. While a student he attended Northern Valley TFC. He served as an intern and a volunteer before he joined TFC staff. Noah writes sketches and produces drama for TFC’s use at camp, events, and connection groups.
Rob Lewis joined the TFC Staff in 2007 after having volunteered as a helper at the Southern Valley TFC group. He is the Southern Valley Director and brings his carpentry skills and get it done attitude to help with Mission Trips and TFC Camp. Rob also attended the Oxford TFC group as a teenager. His wife Taffy grew up as a staff kid as her parents joined the staff in 1978. She has been supporting Rob in his ministry since he joined and has recently started leading the weekly lessons. They have two children Christian and Cedric. Christian is 20 years old and Cedric is five.
As a teenager Brian was a part of the Golden Plains Youth For Christ ministry at Northern Valley and he participated in events like Bible quizzing and monthly rallies, he was also a part of the first mission trip teams and attended some of the first years of TFC Camp. In 2010 God called Brian back to Phillipsburg to become the Executive Director for the ministry now called Teens For Christ Connection. God is doing some great things within the ministry and TFC has made a lot of changes to become the ministry that God needs today. Brian’s wife Julie is the Office Manager for TFC and she does a great job keeping all of the finances in order. Julie and Brian are the proud parents of Nathan and Natalie.