Ali and Alex Holroyde were introduced to Young Life in the spring of 2002 when they attended an "eighth grade night" hosted by a group in Ohio.
When they entered high school a few months later the young friends started going to club meetings regularly and were hooked. Ali said it was their involvement with the group that led them both to their faith in Jesus Christ.
Now the high school sweethearts-turned newlyweds spend their days getting to know students at Beaufort and Battery Creek high schools, with the hope they will one day turn their lives over to Christ, as well. In September the couple took over leadership of Beaufort Young Life, which works in those two schools to introduce students to Christianity.
"Our mission statement is that every student in Beaufort County would have the opportunity to hear about Jesus Christ and be in a relationship with him," Ali said.
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Along with a team of Young Life volunteers, the Holroydes volunteer for different activities at the schools as a way of connecting with the kids. Ali has worked with several students by coaching the track and mock trial teams at Beaufort High.
Once they become familiar with the students, they invite them to club gatherings and eventually share the gospel with them.
"It's not an in-your-face kind of ministry," Ali said.
Ali said the Beaufort group was started four years ago by Dave Brown, who recently stepped down to take a position in Texas. She said the Hilton Head/Bluffton Young Life was started around the same time. In the fall that group's director left and volunteer team leader Jason Armstrong stepped in. He will run the program until the new area director or directors arrive in late summer or fall.
"We're in a transition period, but we're still growing," Armstrong said.
The groups hold club meetings once a week, where the kids get to play games, watch skits and listen to music. There are Bible studies for those who want to delve deeper into religion and grow their faith. Ali said some of the kids have really rough family lives, and Young Life gives them a chance to get away and have some fun.
"The great thing about Young Life is it's just relational," Ali said. "It's just building relationships, which if you like people or like kids, anybody can do."