This past weekend I was perusing my Facebook feed when I saw a post that reminded me of why I am involved with Youth Ministry International.

One of my former students, Rafa, posted some pictures of a youth ministry event he had recently done in his church north of Mexico City.

I met Rafa in Monterrey years before he decided to come study at Seminary. I was in his city to do an informal, weekend youth ministry seminar, and he was one of the guys who volunteered to take me around town to see the sites on our day off. I went with him downtown and lots of other places. He even took me to eat “cabrito,” one of the traditional dishes in Monterrey. We shared some laughs and talked a lot about ministry and what God was doing in his life. We still talk about our time together that weekend to this day.

A few years passed and Rafa eventually came to study at the Mexican Baptist Theological Seminary. He would come over to the house to watch American football with me, especially when his Jets played my Dolphins. He helped with various events that we did with YouthSpecialties, and he was always a great cheerleader for the youth ministry program at the Seminary. He even spoke at the 10th anniversary of the Center for Youth Ministry.

After finishing his degree, he took a job at a church in a little town called Ojo de Agua. He has been the youth pastor there now for a few years. His passion has been to reach out to the middle school and high school students of that town, and I believe he’s the perfect person for that job.

This past weekend, Rafa and his wife had a “color fest” for the middle school and high school students. His wife’s caption of the picture says it best:

Today there was a party with our students, it was the “color fest”, but the coolest part about it is that there was a party in heaven! Many of them accepted Jesus as their Savior!! 😀 and for me and my wife there is no better pay, it is worth it, the effort, the time, the tiredness…we love you.”

It has been a privilege to watch how God has been working in Rafa’s life throughout these years. I am grateful to play a small part in it.