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Newsletter - Fall 2019

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It’s Time to Celebrate!

Help us celebrate with our Keys for Kids Radio Birthday Bash all month long: keysforkids.net/Birthday-Bash

 

While Keys for Kids Ministries is over 77 years old, one arm of our ministry is celebrating its 30th birthday—Keys for Kids Radio, our full-time radio station for kids that allows us to minister to listeners in the 4-14 Window.

From a small closet studio, Keys for Kids Radio (then known as the Children’s Sonshine Network) went on the air on October 23, 1989. It was the beginning of many years of 24-hour radio broadcast ministry to kids and families.
In addition to ever-changing music, radio programs, and announcers over the years, new technology has allowed us to reach more kids every step of the way. We shifted from terrestrial radio to satellite delivery, and now internet streaming and voice assistant integration allow us to reach up to 20,000 kids each month.


Even with all the changes, one thing is still the same—our passion for reaching kids with the gospel of Jesus through engaging stories and fun songs all day, every day, on a radio station just for kids.


Ten-year-old Chloe says, “I constantly listen to [Keys for Kids Radio’s] stories. I like them so much. I am a Christian and love to hear about Jesus.” And Preston writes, “I listen to Keys for Kids Radio all day! We praise
God for Keys for Kids!”


You can help us celebrate with our Keys for Kids Radio Birthday Bash all month long. We’re encouraging kids to get involved with the ministry through weekly giveaways and the grand prize birthday present—an Amazon Fire and select Keys for Kids Radio merchandise. The grand prize will be given away on our Facebook Live birthday party on October 23, and kids will also have a chance to interact with Keys for Kids Radio hosts during the party. More information about the Birthday Bash can be found at keysforkids.net/Birthday-Bash
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Growth Requires Commitment

by Greg Yoder

 

I can’t believe I’m in my fifth year here at Keys for Kids Ministries. It’s been four years of changes. That typically comes with new leadership. I used to tease our team about the words, “We’ve never done that before,” which they’d say often that first year. We changed a lot of things. But one thing we haven’t changed is faithfulness to God’s Word.


What changed in four years? We now have a devotional for teens—Unlocked made its debut this past July. We launched Keys for Camps, a program dedicated to helping Christian camps encourage their campers to be in God’s Word all year, not just a week at camp. We launched our Storyteller program so we could provide solar-powered MP3 players with an audio Bible and Keys for Kids devotional stories loaded on them to oral learners around the world. Today, they’re available in six languages: Albanian, Arabic, English, Greek, Macedonian, and Spanish. We launched the WORD with Zach summer reading program. And, we have new 60-second Keys for Kids and Parent Minute radio programs.


Through your support and that of others like you, God provided the funding.
But this summer was especially difficult. The downturn in summertime donations, coupled with larger-than-expected WORD with Zach summer reading program participation, caused a significant cash-flow issue. That’s why, as we look to the upcoming year, our desire is to manage this growth and do it well.


Becoming a monthly ongoing auto-giver ensures kids and teens will continue reading and hearing stories that make an eternal, life-changing difference. Set up your monthly ongoing auto-gift at keysforkids.org/donate or unlocked.org/donate. You can also call 1-888-224-2324.


 

 
 
 
 
Key for Camps—Helping Campers Grow Spiritually Year-Round

Campers are transistioning from the spritiual high of camp to a consistent, lifelong, Christ-filled journey

 

It’s our fourth year of partnering with camps across the country to provide campers with devotionals, and we are so thankful for the fruit the Lord is producing through this ministry. Camp directors, campers, parents of campers, and camp staff are all seeing the benefits of using Keys for Kids devotionals throughout the entire year. This year, not only were we able to supply camps with our Keys for Kids devotional but also Unlocked, our new teen devotional that launched in July. For the 2019 camp season and subsequent school year, Keys for Camps is serving 77 camps with Keys for Kids and 22 camps with Unlocked.


The camp program is a huge undertaking, with several of our staff traveling from October to February to meet with camps across the country, not to mention the in-house staff that produce all the graphics for the custom-wrapped devotionals. We love being able to serve camps in this way by helping get their campers in God’s Word year-round while also promoting the camp itself, aiding in repeat business. Keys for Camps Director Brian Jones says, “Keys for Camps is an amazing, low-cost way for camps to follow up with their campers and keep them in the Word all year long. This program helps campers transition from the spiritual high of camp to a consistent, lifelong, Christ-filled journey.”


More than anything, we are grateful to see even more kids in God’s Word consistently. A parent of a camper at Bair Lake Camp had this to say: “My kids look forward to [the devotionals], especially my 11-year-old. This was our first year in the area and at Bair Lake, but in the past we received them from another summer camp...I was thrilled to learn you too offer them. I think they are a helpful tool for parents who want to ensure their children are immersed in the Word of God. They are an important emotional support for my children as well.”


For more information on Keys for Camps, go to keysforcamps.org or email camps@keysforkids.org.


 

 
 
Unlocked Teen Devotional Connects Teens
with the Gospel

Subscribe to Unlocked: unlocked.org/subscribe 
Write for Unlocked: unlocked.org/writers-guidelines
Donate to Unlocked: unlocked.org/donate

 

As we send out the second issue of Unlocked, our new teen devotional, we’re rejoicing at how God is already working through this new ministry.


Elisabeth, a teen reader, says, “Thank you SO MUCH for putting this out…So appreciative of a teen devotional that was actually made FOR TEENS!”


Another reader, Kaylee, age 14, says, “It’s more in touch with me and goes deeper and more personal than Keys for Kids did. I like the short, simple, to-the-point stories and thought-provoking questions.”


We also received really good news from Elizabeth, a mom, who shares:
“My own kids grew up on Keys for Kids, as I did myself when I was young. I am subscribing to your new teen devotional for my son’s 16-year-old friend from Ohio who was visiting our family this summer, three years after we moved away. We read Unlocked together while he was visiting over the past 10 days. We also heard a powerful message from our pastor at church, and Wyatt made a commitment to Christ while at our house. Praise God! He is excited to receive Unlocked to help him grow in his faith. Thank you for this new devotional that we can share with him, even from one thousand miles away!”


Responses and stories like these keep us going because we started Unlocked to show teenagers that Jesus cares about every part of their lives. By helping teens understand the Bible and that no issue they face today remains unaffected by the gospel, Unlocked guides teens to a deeper relationship with their Savior.


The devotions in Unlocked span several different genres, such as essay, poetry, and science fiction/fantasy. Including this variety of writing styles allows Unlocked to present each teen with the gospel in a way they will understand.
Unlocked is also a powerful tool for pastors, camp counselors, parents, and youth leaders, who can use each day’s discussion questions to cultivate gospel-centered conversations with teens about a wide variety of topics.
Right now Unlocked has nearly 3,000 subscribers and is reaching over 5,000 campers through our Keys for Camps program. We also just released the Unlocked app to make it even more accessible to teens. We plan to continue developing the app, which can be a long and complicated process, so please be in prayer and keep an eye out for updates!


We are so excited about what God is doing through Unlocked, and we can’t wait to see what He has in store for us next.
 

Subscribe to Unlocked: unlocked.org/subscribe 
Write for Unlocked: unlocked.org/writers-guidelines
Donate to Unlocked: unlocked.org/donate


 

 
 
Impact Award Presented to Lee Geysbeek

Few people had such a profound impact in the lives of kids and teens as Lee Geysbeek

 

Keys for Kids Ministries exists to ignite a passion for Christ in kids and their families, and each year honors someone who has pursued that mission faithfully and well.


The 2019 Keys for Kids Impact Award was given to the late Lee Geysbeek on October 3, 2019, at the annual Keys for Kids Celebration Dinner held at the Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville, Michigan. Lee spent his entire adult life serving God in Christian radio. He started at Cornerstone University in 1974 at 91.3 WCSG, where he served as an announcer, general manager, and vice president for broadcasting. He continued there until 2009, when he joined the radio division of Compassion International. Lee also served on the board of Keys for Kids Ministries. He passed away suddenly on December 1, 2018.

 

During his time at Cornerstone, he was responsible for starting the Children’s Sonshine Network in 1989, which is now known as Keys for Kids Radio. Dodd Morris served as its director for the first 25 years. “It was created to impact lives for Christ at an age when kids are most [open] to the gospel, that 4 to 14 age range,” Morris said. All of the faith and fun on the radio “had a purpose. If it didn’t point people to Jesus, then what’s the point?” We’re celebrating its 30th birthday this month.


In 1997 Lee hired a team to start a teen radio ministry called Way-FM. The station’s Friday All Request Parties and Christian concerts provided an open door for teens to hear and respond to the gospel. Hundreds came to Christ.
In 2009 Lee left Cornerstone and joined Compassion International, where his love for kids grew even more as he traveled the globe and saw kids and families living in poverty, both physically and spiritually. His nearly 10 years at Compassion mobilized thousands of Christians to sponsor kids in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, which empowered the body of Christ to help ease physical hunger and provide the hope of the gospel through local churches.

 

It’s unknown this side of heaven how many young people came to Christ because of Lee’s efforts. But we’re confident he’s getting a good idea as he waits for us there.
 

 
   
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