Every once in a while, there are people who come along who have a great vision to reach the world. They are the people who begin movements. If you get a chance to work with people who have great vision, you shouldn’t let that opportunity slip away.
This week, we are visiting with Randy and Lynn Smith. Randy is the founder and president of Youth Ministry International. We’ve been hanging out, talking about current ministry, and also dreaming a little about the future. They are people with great vision.
Sunday, Randy was invited by Daniel Jimenez, the director of the Mexican Baptist Theological Seminary, to speak at AME Baptist Church, both in the service and in the Sunday School hour.
Wednesday, he’ll be speaking in my youth ministry class, inspiring this generation of Mexican youth workers to reach, disciple, and care for young people. Randy is a great guy with great vision, and Lynn has shared the vision during their 42 years of marriage.
Yesterday I received this email from one of my former students who lives in the Western part of Cuba. It is awesome to celebrate multiplication of ministry.
Here’s a translation of what he wrote to me.
Hi Dennis…How are you profe? How’s your family? We are fine. I’ve been wanting to write you for some time, but I had lost my email access. Now a friend is letting me use this one.
God is working in a great way around here. Many doors are being opened as far as youth ministry is concerned. Right now, I am teaching three different groups. In the Seminary, I am teaching Professional Orientation to youth ministry.
In our church’s Bible Institute, I am teaching a semester of Introduction to Youth Ministry (Principles of Youth Ministry) to the freshmen Pastoral ministries and missions students. I’m also teaching a youth ministry specialization to a group each Saturday morning. I’m teaching this group the basic of all of the classes, the essentials. Five churches from our province are being blessed by this training.
Also, they have invited me to teach Philosophy of Youth Ministry in the National Seminary of another Baptist denomination. Isn’t this a divine, amazing work?
In our church, the Youth Ministry is taking form little by little. There is a group of leaders that are catching the vision. We have 4 leaders working with the age group of 12-15 and four with the young people who are aged 16-24. We created 14 groups that are cared for and counseled by 14 older youth who are spiritually mature. We are working with more than 90 young people. I am serving as adviser and counselor to the ministry. We are very content.
I greatly desired to tell you this because I know that it will make you happy and besides you have a significant part in all of this. To God be the glory. Thank you for your help.
Remember that when you return, I would like for you to spend some time with me and my family.
Your student and friend…
It’s amazing to see what God is doing all over the world, and it’s a privilege to be a part of it.
Saturday mornings we have started some informal training for youth workers. Huberto is teaching the first series, and it’s cool for me to see one of my former students interacting and training others (2 Timothy 2:2).
Here’s a qik video of Huberto teaching the YM Goal statement: “Develop a vehicle (program) through which every adolescent will hear the gospel in a culturally relevant manner and have the opportunity to spiritually mature.” (That’s my rough English translation of what we use).
I love how passionate he is about training others. He’s taught in the bachelor’s program at the Seminary, he went with us last year to Boyce College’s Youth Emphasis Week, and he’s taken a major role in the Saturday morning training we have started.
Please pray that the ministry will continue to expand and multiply.
One thing I’ve learned in my time in ministry (and especially missions) is that you have to be ready with an alternative plan.
Randy Smith, the president of YMI, is scheduled to go to Cuba this Friday to teach a class for the Seminary in Santiago. We’ve been diligently planning the trip for months, purchasing tickets, getting visas, preparing the class, and all the things that have to be done for a trip. But I got an email from Randy the other day.
He’s having health issues, and it looks like he might not be going on the trip after all. He still hasn’t been able to make a final decision, but we are waiting to see what happens. All of us are on hold. The professors in Cuba who invited him are on hold. He’s on hold. I’m on hold. The office staff at YMI are on hold. We’re all investigating “plan B.”
In Latin America, “plan B” isn’t very popular. When I teach it in my programming class, the students all nod their head in approval, but I doubt that they ever have a very defined Plan B.
But as I think about myself, I don’t really have a plan B either usually. The word plan usually means something that is thought out ahead of time. However, usually if something happens to my “plan A”, I’m forced to try to wing it. Sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes that’s a bad thing. It just depends.
Anyway, please be praying for Randy as he goes through these health issues. Pray for the project in Cuba and the guys there who are forced to react to this situation. I’m sure they’ll do well. They’ve been taught all about plan b in the classroom. And they all nodded in approval.
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