We trust that God has given you a great start to the year 2008. We believe this will be a very key year for making progress in reaching the world for Jesus Christ. We greatly anticipate our opportunity to come together as a Youth Commission and with the entire WEA at the first General Assembly since 2001.
Africa: WEA International Leadership Team Meetings
In November, I traveled to Nairobi for the annual meetings of the International Leadership Team. We interacted with the International Council on the first day and then discussed numerous issues important to the Commissions and global partners. Geoff Tunnicliffe further defined the role of the Commissions and called for each to submit a 5-year strategy. We spent a good deal of time talking about plans for the General Assembly in Thailand. Youth and youth ministry will be given good exposure at the conference. At the same site, following the meetings, WEA co-sponsored a “Global Christian Forum” for 250 people from over 70 countries representing what was claimed to be one of the most diverse groups of Christians ever assembled. Richard Howell has published a book on it called Transforming Ecumenism.
India: Youth Ministry Project Gearing Up
I met twice in November with EFI General Secretary, Richard Howell, helping to facilitate the launch of the Youth Ministry Project that Jacob Isaac is coordinating. The new national Youth Commission is beginning a process to discover “best practices” to reach Indian youth through and then apply the findings in ten city-wide youth ministry networks which will be established. An important conference will bring influential leaders together in February to lay the foundations.
Canada: Bringing Leaders Together for Training and Encouragement
OASIS 2008 was held for youth workers January 6-8, 2008 at the Sheraton in Niagara Falls. The speaker was Jim Beverley, an author and professor at TyndaleUniversityCollege and Seminary.A Youth and Young Adult Ministry Forum was held on January 21-23 for Canadian Network leaders in Toronto, led by our coordinator, John Wilkinson.
Thailand: Next Youth Commission Meeting at General Assembly
The next meeting of the Youth Commission will be held October 24-25, 2008 in Pattaya, Thailand, just prior to the WEA General Assembly to be held October 25-30. Please plan now, by putting these dates on your calendar:
·October 24—Arrive in Pattaya, Thailand by on Friday. You will probably need to fly through Bangkok
·October 24-25—YC Meetings begin at lunch on Friday and will go through dinner on Saturday, just before the opening session of the General Assembly. If we do not finish our business, we will likely convene during the week of the General Assembly.
·October 25-30—The General Assembly concludes by with a luncheon. Please make every effort to stay for the entire program, not only for the obvious inspiration and edification by outstanding speakers and delegates, but also because there is a large role to be played by emerging leaders, and the Youth Commission itself. Register now and take advantage of the Early Bird Discount which expires on January 25th. To register on-line go to http://www.GA08.org.
Annual Report: Highlights of 2007 Report
In 2007 there are now established Youth Commissions in 47 countries. There are 36 countries whose Youth Commissions are in the process of formation. It was a good year for the Youth Commission. Praise the Lord with us!
In Africa, our leader, Solomon Gacece served as one of two Team Leaders for the entire AEA during its search for a General Secretary. In Europe, the leadership mantel was passed from Grahame Knox to Jussi Miettinen. In Latin America, a Living School of Training was established for youth workers. Reorganization was accomplished in the South Pacific and the new General Secretary, Walo Ani, is committed to a strong Youth Commission. The Caribbean Youth Commission Training yielded five new Youth Commissions. The U.S. expanded to 950 local Networks involving 100,000 churches and 250,000 youth workers. In India, funds from a U.S. foundation were raised to study best practices of youth evangelism in India. The findings will be propagated and modeled in ten Indian cities where Youth Commissions will be established.
We have much to be thankful for. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says: ”Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks.” We have petitioned God for many of these things. Now it is time to praise Him for what He did! Scripture indicates that we bless God when we do that. Please continue to pray for each other and for the work of God among youth around the world. As we do that, I can’t wait to see how God will answer in 2008!
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