Summer Greetings, Youth Commission partners!
Well, I know it’s winter in the South Pacific and Africa, but it’s summer here at “Headquarters” in sunny San Diego! Daryl and Paul are both taking some very welcome vacation. In fact, Paul and Toni are out the entire month on a “mini-sabbatical.” I know others of you are getting some welcome rest and refreshment, too, so we ask God for His “re-creation,” as only He can do! Still, there is plenty going on. First, some late-breaking news!
Europe: Grahame Knox Changes Role
Grahame writes: “I'll be stepping down as an EEA Associate by the end of July. I've been reflecting on this decision for a few months, not easy after 12+ years with EEA and with many good relationships with staff and Alliances.
”When I started with EEA only two or three Alliances had a youth leaders network, now it's unusual to find any of the active Alliances without one. Some networks are strategic and significant, but of course, I'd like to see more depth and impact from others. However, I believe it's far more effective (and younger) leaders than me to take things to the next stage.
”I plan to continue working with Alliances in Europe (and beyond) and with the many productive relationships developed in recent years. I'll be in more of a 'freelance' role, allowing me to focus more on leadership development, especially among young and existing youth workers. In the future I plan to commit much more of my time to the training programme developed in recent months 'Foundations in Christian Youth Work.' I hope to continue to be a resource for the European Alliances. I'm also developing online leadership resources and a leadership Blog to serve many of the leaders and Alliances.
Finally, my church has asked me to commit some time (10 hours a week) to develop a comprehensive mission strategy for the church, particularly in the areas of children, youth and families. It will be good to keep my 'feet on the ground' with some local ministry and also do some work with Sheila in the life of the church.”
We will miss Grahame in this role! He has made an indelible mark on the Youth Commission, helping to hammer it out since Day One, as well as to carry the load as our first salaried YC leader for a time. We will be always grateful. However, as you see, we will still be in touch and he will still be carrying the torch for youth ministry networking – just in a more focused and tailored way. We await the EEA General Secretary, for the news of who they propose as Grahame’s replacement on the Youth Commission, but be assured, you will know shortly after we do!
India: Major Grant to Multiply Youth Commissions in 10 cities
On behalf of the WEA Youth Commission, the National Network of Youth Ministries requested and just received a major grant for India Youth Commissions from First Fruit of California! It will be given in two parts, with 50 per cent of it to come from matching funds. The purpose will be to launch a process to help the body of Christ in India to better reach the youth in their communities. The goal will be to determine and utilize principles, techniques and methodologies that are effective in reaching and discipling youth in India. Strategies, training and tools, including visual models on video, will be developed to equip youth workers to reach Indian youth more effectively. An integral part of the process is the development of the leadership and infrastructure for ten ongoing city-wide youth ministry networks. Jacob Isaac will work with India General Secretary, Richard Howell to oversee the project, with assistance from Daryl Nuss and the NNYM office. Praise the Lord with us!!!
Africa: Walking the Talk bears Fruit
On Saturday 2nd June a team of 33 went for a weekend outreach to the Masai area called Masailand, a semi-arid area about 200 Km from Nairobi. They visited 12 congregations to preach and walked an average of about 35 Km from one Church to another. They slept in church classroom in sleeping bags on the floor and walked as far as 100 Km in a day.
They conducted seminars for all ages, taught Sunday School, counseled people about health concerns, preached in all 12 churches, and showed The Jesus Film in Masai language. About 50 teenagers received Christ. Arrangements were made for follow up and discipling process to begin with teachers from their churches. The Church there is growing very well both numerically and spiritually. (Coincidently, Paul’s home church is sending about 20 youth to work with Solomon later in July as a mission project.)
Latin America: Major Grant to Multiply Youth Commissions in 10 cities
Jorge has been in Panamá, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico to make some contacts and to see if there is the possibility to organize the Raices youth training congress in those countries.
Eugenia, Jorge’s assistant, reports: “I am excited to see some fruit on my own fundraising. It’s a hard thing to do but the bright side of it is to feel supported by people, beyond the economic contribution they are willing to provide. Don't get me wrong, it's not that support is falling on me like rain! Not at all, I'm just making baby steps and every step forward is encouraging. I will do my best to help Jorge on a regular basis at the office with organizational and other details of his ministry.” Praise the Lord for Eugenia. Pray that she and Jorge see more fruit.
As always, there are many things on our plate and many things to pray about. But it is obvious that God is answering many of our prayers. So please pray for the concerns expressed in this newsletter! We await any news that we can share with the brethren for next month.
Paul Fleischmann and Daryl Nuss
WEA Youth Commission