Maddie (pictured right) with a YL student.

Madeline Stalheber grew up near Houston, Texas and attended the University of Texas at Austin. She’s a Lone Star State girl at heart, but God had a way of drawing her to the Mitten State through various roles at our region’s Young Life camp, Timber Wolf Lake.

Maddie was involved in Young Life as a high schooler and then chose to lead Young Life at Dripping Springs (part of Young Life Austin) while she was in college. Later she interned, not just once, but three different times at Timber Wolf Lake: two summer-long internships followed by a year-long internship. “Working in the kitchen was so fun, but I realized how much I missed the relationships with kids.”


Maddie (bottom right) with the YL Interns at Timber Wolf.

This longing to return to direct ministry is what led Maddie to accept Area Director Eric Zoodsma’s request for her to help get Young Life started again at Caledonia High School. Maddie agreed and came on as Mission Staff for the Grand Rapids SouthWest area this past June.  

Young Life had existed in Caledonia up until a few years ago. Recently, Jamie De Vries, Director of Worship and Student Ministries at Lakeside Community Church, began asking Eric what it would take to rebuild a Young Life club in Caledonia.  

Over the last few months, we’ve had more and more interest from parents and the community about how they can support Young Life at Caledonia High School. We have a few leaders in place, and Maddie has been doing a great job,” says Eric.

Right now, Maddie and the GRSW Young Life staff are hoping to rebuild Young Life in Caledonia from the ground up. This means working hard to build community around their team, recruit more leaders and cast a vision for a thriving Young Life ministry in Caledonia.

Maddie’s desire is for Young Life to be known in Caledonia as a ministry that cares deeply for kids in the community. Caledonia High School is a small community and Maddie hopes to know everyone and for Young Life to be familiar to all.

“God led me to a town I had never even heard of. The Lord has already been opening doors; He is so faithful,” shares Maddie.  


Maddie and the Caledonia YL Team

Please give a warm welcome (as she’s still getting used to our cold MI winters!) to Maddie and join us in praying for her in this new role as Mission Staff for Grand Rapids SouthWest Young Life. Pray also for Young Life in Caledonia to take root and to be a great blessing to adolescents and families in that community. If you feel led to give financially to help support Maddie and Caledonia Young Life, you can do so at