Discovering Hope: Melissa’s Story

Last year we began investing in three young Christian women who had a vision to use their shared passion for Jesus and dance to empower other young people to discover all God created them to be.

Through Youth for Christ they recently launched the Eleven88 Movement, a club-based dance ministry that provides a safe environment for young people to be themselves, learn new skills and grow meaningful friendships. Young people like Melissa.

MelissaThree years ago, at age 13, Melissa began battling depression and lost sight of any hope in life. “I felt worthless,” she recently shared. “I started self-harming because I didn’t know how to take away the pain that I was feeling. I couldn’t bare the emptiness inside.

The happy, cheerful, funny girl I once was had gone, yet I would pretend to be that person so no one would suspect who I was inside. “Despite my efforts, Mum could see that I wasn’t myself so she took me out of school for three months. In that time, some of my ‘friends’ stopped talking to me, I got hate messages, someone told me they wished I had died and, at that point, I did too.”

Melissa began attending a Christian school and attending a local youth group. But despite knowing about God, it never occurred to her just how much she needed Him. Last year, at age 15, Melissa began attending Eleven88 and her life began to change.

“It has now changed my life completely,” she shares “and I have realised that I need God in my life and I need to have a relationship with Him. I’ve become so much closer not only to God but to the girls in the team.”

Through her involvement with Eleven88, Melissa has seen that she too can shine bright the love of God into the lives of others.

The Eleven88 team performing at an outreach event.

The Eleven88 team performing at an outreach event.

“We get to do what we love, which is dance and we show God’s love and grace through that. I’ve witnessed a number of people accepting Jesus into their lives and it’s amazing for me to think that I was on the edge of dying, hating every second of my life and now I’m helping to save other people’s lives and loving life all because of God. I couldn’t thank Him enough for what He has done for me.”

Thanks to the prayers and gifts of friends like you, YFC is able to equip and invest in young leaders all over Australia and help them become disciple-making disciples.