More Youth Ministry Training in Ukraine

Our mission organization, Youth Ministry International, trains youth workers for local churches. In the past few years we have realized the potential impact of training men and women who could train others for youth ministry. This strategy has a multiplication effect where our friends around the world begin to influence more youth workers than we could have ever imagined.

The strategy proves effective as we watch national youth workers in Cuba, Mexico, Kenya, and other parts of the world take what we have taught them and teach others to apply it in their own local churches. Our own trainers have adopted this vision and begun to expand their ministries to other seminaries and Bible institutes. Ukraine is one such example.


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The Influence of Adults on Young People

I saw this video posted on Facebook, and I wanted to comment on it here. It’s about a Latin teacher who has cancer. He’s sitting at his window, and outside are 400 students worshipping God and singing a song with him. Watch the video below:


I’m sure there is a lot to this story, but it is obvious that there is an adult–a teacher–who is loved by young people and being honored by them because of the influence he has had on their lives. There is no doubt many other former students who would have been there if they could.
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Teens and the Bible

I’ve read two articles lately on the topic of teenagers and the Bible. Both articles focus on research done by the Barna Group1 and the American Bible Society2.

The Findings

The 2016 Teen State of the Bible report found:

  • 86 percent of American teens view the Bible as sacred literature,
  • 69 percent own a Bible
  • 25% read the Bible four or more times per week
  • 42 percent hear it read at least once a week

However, 14% say that their Bible reading has declined in the last year. The number one reason they have not read the Bible as much this year as last year—they are too busy for life’s responsibilities (41%).
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Youth Ministry in Tanzania

This past week my friend Frank Mills went to teach the 9th course in a 12 course training program at Nassa Theological College (NTC) in Mwanza, Tanzania. While he was there, I asked him to research some statistics about the impact of the ministry there in that East African country. Here’s what he sent back.
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Can You Stop a Wave?

When we first moved back to the USA from Mexico City, we spent about 6 months near the East Coast of Florida, and we took advantage of that time to take the kids to the beach every once in a while. If you’ve ever been to the Atlantic Ocean, you know that the waves and undercurrent are very strong, especially for little kids (and dads that have little kids draped on their arms).

Kids and Waves

I would take each of the kids by the hand—usually one at a time—to brave the waves and walk in the water against the waves. Every time the wave would hit us so hard that it would knock them over and I would hold on to them for dear life while trying to stand my ground. It was terrifyingly fun—for a while. We did learn one truth during our time in the waves, though. They are impossible to stop.

After a few minutes walking out in the waves, I taught Nathan how to simply go with the waves and stop trying to resist them. Once we were out in the water, we could jump when the biggest of waves came and just enjoy them. We could swim with them and ride them into shore, and it was a lot more fun than trying to stop those strong waves or resist them.

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Why Coffee is Heavenly

Perhaps this is why that first sip of coffee in the morning is often surrounded by angels singing the Hallelujah chorus.

The Pope was brought a steaming mug of java and he took a sip. He was immediately delighted, and according to legend, he declared, “This devil’s drink is delicious. We should cheat the devil by baptizing it.”

Read the whole story by clicking here.

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What Would You Have Me Do?

This morning I was reading Acts 9, and I came across something I’ve read many times, but something new caught my attention (isn’t that the way it is with the Bible?).

Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.”


Ananias had no idea what the Lord was going to ask him to do in verse 10, but he was simply obedient. There are many other stories of people responding to God with a willing spirit before knowing the task ahead (Abraham, Samuel, Isaiah, etc). Ananias is one of these who simply let his willingness lead him on a daily basis.
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A Prayer for Youth Ministry Training

Youth Ministry International trains youth workers formally and informally around the world. We just finished a Master’s program in Mexico in June. Two new programs are starting the final months of this year in countries with huge potential, one program will finish in Africa next January, and a few other programs are likely to start in the next year or two.

Today, as I was thinking about the newest programs and reflecting on the time that I spent in Mexico training youth workers in the classroom, a passage in Philippians 4 jumped off the page of my Bible and really challenged me to pray specifically for practical application of the principles we work so hard to get into the minds of these youth pastors around the world.


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Religious Education in the Family (Book Summary and Quotes)

For one of my Seminary classes, I read the book Religious Education in the Family by Henry Frederick Cope. The book was written in 1917 but has a lot of insight for today’s families. Here’s my summary of the book and some of the quotes I highlighted.
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YMI Summit in California

In case you’re wondering what we were doing in California for the last two weeks, we were at the biennial YMI Summit. One of my responsibilities in the office now is to do most of the logistics for the Summit…so I was really working during our time out there in northern California (I promise).

I wrote up a report on it for the YMI website.

Here’s an excerpt:

YMI missionaries from around the globe gathered at Lassen Pines Christian Camp near Redding, California, for six days of meeting, training, fellowship, and strategic planning. The biennial Summit was the fifth time in the history of Youth Ministry International that the worldwide team met for such a gathering. Past summits have taken place in California, South Dakota, France, and Athens.

One of the highlights of the Summit is hearing the reports from various regions in which YMI is working. Each missionary tells of what God has done during the past two years in their family and ministry and shares about their hopes for the next two years. This year there were reports from Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and Africa. We also heard from our Missionary Care representatives and the Adolescent Orphan Initiative directors. God is certainly doing wonderful things through the ministry of YMI around the world!

You can read more by clicking here.
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