“I’m not just a Volunteer and I’m not too Mature”: An Interview with Everett Meyer

By Roxie Rahn, Plymouth County City Life Director

One misconception people often have is that they are too old to volunteer or have nothing in common with the youth we connect with at YFC. I’d like to introduce you to our friend Everett to help you remove this excuse.

Everett was a Fireman and Assistant Chief with the Sioux City Fire Department for many years until his retirement. Being a First Responder gave him a front row seat into people’s pain and gave him experiences to share with younger generations. He feels he was placed there to be a Christ following witness to his co-workers and those he came in contact with.

He taught Sunday School many years at his church and said, “I have always enjoyed being involved with young people because there is a better chance of them responding to the Gospel in youth than when they are an adult.”

After retirement, Everett and his wife connected with Youth for Christ by volunteering to help with mass mailings at our Sioux City location. This then connected him with Jim Cole, our (back then) Juvenile Justice Ministry Director. Everett began ministering in Juvenile Detention facilities with Jim by sharing the gospel with the young men he built relationships there.

When Everett and his wife moved to Le Mars, they looked for a way to plug in locally with the City Life Teen Center in Le Mars.  At the young age of 84, Everett became a faithful Tuesday night volunteer for Family Meal Time. Everett was often seen sitting with a young person, listening to them and giving wise counsel when needed. 

“Youth today have so many temptations and a culture much different from when I was a kid, it makes it very difficult for them to follow Christ. They think religion is old fashioned and doesn’t apply to them today. Families are not connected with the church like they were in my day. By listening, I love to learn their stories.” Everett Meyer on his greatest ministry - listening.

Young people often just want someone to talk to. Someone who cares, asks questions, follows up with them, and prays for them. Everett would often follow up the next week and ask how the test went, if their family member was feeling better, if they had talked with their friend, etc. Everett’s heart always expressed, “I’m just willing to listen to what you’ve experienced and I want to share the gospel with you if you’ll  listen. And if nothing else, I’ll just pray with you.”

Health has since prevented Everett from ministering weekly at the Teen Center. He isn’t 84 anymore, unfortunately! He still checks in here and there, and prays for the youth. Everett is so blessed when he hears back from a former Sunday school student or co-worker who shares the impact his faithfulness and consistency in sharing Christ made in their life. The kids at the Teen Center who have had the privilege of knowing Everett often ask about him and how he is doing. Everett is proof you are never too “Mature” to volunteer and minister to kids!