Friends for Life is the inspiring story of Mal McSwain and his decades of simple but profound ministry — “a ministry of accompaniment” — in the lives of thousands.
When chatting to a non-Christian high school football player he had just met at the very beginning of his ministry with Young Life, Mal felt the Lord tell him, “You’re going to know that guy for the rest of your life.” That was in 1957 and Mal was 22. Today, 64 years later, the two are still friends and Mal has walked alongside not just Dick Samuels, but many of his California classmates as well.
“Meet people as if you are going to know them for the rest of your life” became a way of life for Mal and his wife Wanda, and a ministry principle Mal taught decades of Young Life volunteer leaders and staff.
Said one former Young Life staff person, “Mal McSwain is the embodiment of Young Life’s relational form of ministry.”
Over the years Mal practiced the simple principle of “being there” for countless people, exhibiting for them the love and grace of Jesus, first with high school students in North Carolina, California, and Georgia, and later with adults around the country.
If you have an interest in Young Life, you will love this book, as it gets to the very essence of what has made that ministry special to so many. And if you have a desire to impact lives for Christ, you’ll find Mal’s example a powerful one to emulate.
Written with the full cooperation of the McSwains, noted author Bethany Bradsher brings to bear not only her gifted storytelling but also her long history with Young Life as a student, volunteer leader, and staff spouse.