Stand in the Place Where You Live

ChristianM_blogimgby Christian Mulitauopele

UYWI is about powering the urban youth worker and we know that part of that is connecting with other leaders who understand your challenges and share your calling. Christian Mulitauopele is one of those leaders, here’s his story:

At an early age, I understood the effects of the gang lifestyle, as they were made evident to me through my environment and foremost, through my father. As I experienced some extremely challenging circumstances within my own family, I became empathetic for others who have encountered such tragedies and was driven to eradicate the cycles of dysfunction within Los Angeles. After I graduated college I was on my way out of California when a couple local pastors and friends, in a sense, “hounded” me to stay and finish the work that I had started the previous year. I struggled with the option for several days when God used a young man to affirm my call and eradicate my doubts. As I continued to seek the Lord for answers I received word that one of the students I walked closest with was shot and in critical condition. At the time, his survival seemed unlikely and all the emotions from powerlessness to anger and hopelessness set in. It was this tragic situation that God used to confirm my calling with these youth, to help them make wise decisions and walk with them even through the valley of the shadow of death. Today, that young man is alive and well and I still get the opportunity to walk with him every week. His story is one of many that MYTHIRDPLACE strives to tell, and it is for students like him that this ministry exists.

Throughout my adult life I have found myself traveling both nationally and internationally, walking with gang members from various cultures, visiting prisons, and using sports to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Each of these things has prepared me for the call that I am walking in right now. Currently, I am a student in UYWI’s 90 Degree Certification Program and it has expedited the process of growth for me. Not only are we continually going over new information that challenges, stretches, and encourages urban youth workers, but it is practical. There has not been one experience or piece of information that has not been useful for the “hands-on” servant. The most impactful thing I have learned so far is to make myself unnecessary. I am the type of person that will do what needs to be done, quietly, but my way. Empowerment, equipping and pouring into other leaders so that I am unnecessary is a challenge for me, but I am taking practical steps towards becoming better at this. Also, professional coaching sessions are included in the 90 Degree Program, and as I have played sports my whole life, I am excited to have someone in my ear again pushing me to be better.

Christian Mulitauopele is a Program Director at My Third Place. They aim to cultivate an environment for teens in Azusa, CA to grow in faith, develop character, and mature relationally through mentorship and discipleship.

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