For José Antonio Yactayo Llona, recollections of Youth for Christ’s General Assembly in South Africa stir up feelings of nostalgia and tears of joy, providing inspiration to work even harder in Peru to bring the gospel to young people. He is bursting with gratitude to the ministry supporters of Youth for Christ who enabled him to attend.

He writes, “Every day I was at General Assembly I was feeling frustrated to see so many powerful yet humble people taking on this task, so much so that a jealous anger was welling up in my heart that would push on me thoughts like, ‘why not me? I want more! I want more of what they have!’… Every time I look at the pictures from South Africa I feel nostalgic, and I can’t deny that sometimes I cry wishing I could hug every person I met there, and my heart races just thinking about it. Wow! I hope you can express all my gratitude to the leaders of this spectacular Youth for Christ International movement, who have done a great job and who have allowed me to be more sensitive towards the task which we have been entrusted.

José was so inspired at the international gathering of Youth for Christ’s young leaders, that when he returned to Peru, he had in mind to do 10 times more than what he was already doing with Youth for Christ in Peru. But he acknowledges, “We are swimming upstream in the stormy sea that Peru is in, trying to reach Christ’s shore.” Still, he perseveres, recognizing the power of God to move Peru forward. He takes comfort in the words from the Apostle Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

I feel like a Kamikaze, like dynamite, like an atomic bomb ready to explode when I step into the schools, or when I hold a kid who is sobbing because of his troubles and I just want to overflow with love and with the gospel…we pray that we will be able to do great things in this place.”

José admits that prior to attending General Assembly, he was somewhat blind to how wonderful God is and all the wonderful things he can accomplish through those who are willing. But having met so many great people and hearing their amazing testimonies encouraged him greatly. He no longer thinks about quitting. “What’s in our hearts and in our lives is an obligation and a responsibility that we need to take right now. Obviously we pray to the one who can do everything to bless us and continue to provide for our needs.”

José still wears his nametag lanyard around his neck as he speaks at various workshops and gives presentations, using it as a tool to share about his experience in South Africa, and as a reminder that he, too, is an agent of change in this world.

To learn more about the work of Youth for Christ in Peru, click here.