And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. – Hebrews 13:16
In a North African town, a desperate Muslim mother was trying to save her son from terrorists. He had been sent to a suicide bomber camp for training, and had been promised great glory if he carried out his mission.
“Please come home; I am sick and about to die,” she told him.
When he received the phone call that his mother was dying in the hospital, he was granted permission to leave the camp, only if he promised to return.
The young man got home to his mother and was watching TV during the night, when he saw a Christian program in his language, talking about the power of Jesus’ grace and how it can change lives. He called the number and was directed to go to a church – where he met _____, a Youth for Christ worker. It was here that the young man accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
Later, at a Youth for Christ retreat, an event only possible through donations from generous partners like yourself, ____ met with him again, where the young man shared that he previously had a deep hatred for Westerners – but after he found Christ, that hatred dissipated.
This young man surrendered his life to Christ and walked away from violence and death, and into the light of His Word. His mother, too, came to follow Jesus shortly after her son. Now, both of their lives are forever changed…and the world is safer for it.
This is what Youth for Christ young leaders accomplish around the world in over 100 countries, every single day. Young people are being recruited by radical fundamentalists because they know no other alternative. Youth for Christ can give them the answers they need and light their way to a better life…not only for them but also for the friends and family that they witness to, and for the whole world – because every youth saved is one person who won’t be radicalized and become a terrorist.
Youth for Christ staff and volunteers work in juvenile prisons, extreme conditions and dangerous environments that breed terrorists, to bring love and peace into the hearts of very troubled kids. We have over 40,000 staff and volunteers who speak 80 languages including at least 30 different tribal languages in the countries we serve.
The model is simple – to bring the message of Jesus to others through the energy, passion and creativity of young people – and as a result, to change the world for the better. Our ministry creates leaders, and they create leaders, and so on, exponentially.
For example, we have seen the ministry in Mexico grow from reaching an initial 800 young people to a current number of around 20,000, and that happened in less than three years – thanks to partners like you.
We intervene in the lives of those who no longer have hope, and bring them the message of the Gospel. Through our work, and with your support, Christ is able to save their souls, redeem their spirits, and save them from further suffering.
The young leaders of Youth for Christ don’t know what they can’t do, and every day they accomplish things you and I would think were impossible. Through vision, passion and creativity, there is no limit to what young people can achieve. Youth for Christ team members do not require much; they are driven by a passion that allows them to survive and thrive without many of the comforts that you and I take for granted.
Because our young leaders are indigenous – because they live within these nations and are from these areas – they understand how to best respond to the needs of their community.
Our workers are trained to reach young people in a relational manner, interacting with them on a day-to-day, need-by-need basis. Our goal is to train up as many of these leaders as possible, and they will train others, in perpetuity. We only need your help to make sure we have the resources to make this happen.
For example, when Japan suffered the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis, the world wanted to help. The natural response was to send money and food. These things were needed, of course, but Youth for Christ leaders on the ground in Japan saw a need for bicycles. We are able to help in that unique way, because we are there and our staff know what is most needed for recovery efforts – not only bicycles to carry food and water, and rescue loved ones, but prayers and ministry, as well, to nourish their hearts.
Your financial support enables us to fund the living expenses of young leaders as they advance the movement. When our budget increases, so can our ministry and staffing opportunities. It’s really as simple as that.
Ultimately we need leaders on the ground, because then there is no limit to the good we can do. You can help us effect change in the world, one community at a time.
*Names and identifying information have been changed for security purposes
A young woman named Maya became a staff member of Youth for Christ in her hometown, which is a very dangerous village. The area was controlled by drug cartels and overrun with violence, which resulted in almost all businesses being shut down. Many people have been driven out, but not Maya.
Maya is part of a new Youth for Christ initiative, called Global Launch, which helps young leaders achieve their ministry dreams. Global Launch connects them with an experienced Christian coach/mentor, who will walk with them for a year. Maya’s dream is to start a Food Bank in her city. She estimates that due to the poverty resulting from the closures of factories and businesses, 60% of the population is undernourished.
Shortly before her coach/mentor was to make her first visit to Maya, the violence in the city flared again. Maya wrote her coach/mentor, explaining the situation, and then stated: “We are not leaving. This is the Promised Land that God gave us to conquer and impact. This land is blessed because we (the people of God) are here. I am not to give up what belongs to me. We have peace in our heart and God is on our side. What else do we need? Nothing! If He is on our side, who can be against us?” Maya met with her coach/mentor in a safe location near her hometown, and they had a great week together.
Recently, Maya’s faith was tested. Angelo, one of the teens in the Youth for Christ soccer ministry (who had recently become a Christian), was kidnapped by a drug cartel. Teens were routinely taken and made to work as “guards.” Angelo had been approached several times and offered a “job,” but he had refused. Then one day, he disappeared.
Maya sent an urgent prayer request asking the Youth for Christ family to pray for his freedom, for his faith to be strengthened and for his family to trust God.
A few days later Maya sent an update: “I am pleased to report with great happiness and thanks to God that your prayers for Angelo were answered and he was released. This is truly a miracle because…the only way to get out is death. Angelo is a son of God and nothing against him will prosper.”
When I asked Maya’s permission to share this story with you, she said “of course, but please don’t mention me only.” She is grateful for her family and the many Youth for Christ volunteers who have also chosen to stay and make a difference for God in their very difficult city.
This is only one of many examples of how you can make a difference in the lives of young people all over the world. Maya, and many others, are serving God at great risk to themselves. They do it passionately, and with great purpose – and you are the key to their success.
Our Prayer Requests Are:
- Please pray for the safety of our Youth for Christ young leaders
- Please pray for the safety of their families
- Please pray for wisdom and guidance as our leaders carry out their plan
Donors like you make this ministry possible. Your prayers and financial support enable these young leaders to rise up in difficult situations, and save lost young people.
Youth for Christ is making a difference in very troubled regions, very quickly, because of you. Please continue to help us represent Jesus in conflicted, violent and inaccessible areas, and allow His kingdom to grow there.