Reaching Young People in Impossible Places
My father was not only far from God, but would do black magic, and was addicted to every kind of drugs. He often abused my mother.
“It would sometimes be easy to think it’s impossible,” said David Bonanno, former Youth for Christ Asia Pacific Area Director. He was talking about reaching young people in nations where there is growing intolerance and hostility against the Gospel of Jesus. “But,” he continued, “our God is the God of the impossible.”
Youth for Christ currently is reaching young people in 113 nations, 20 of which would be considered “sensitive,” meaning sharing the gospel is risk-filled because of the political or religious climate. A number of those are in the Asia Pacific Area.
“In some Asia Pacific nations, long imprisonment or worse is the expected penalty for sharing one’s faith and yet young Youth for Christ staffers and volunteers defy fear and proclaim Jesus regardless,” said David.
God works through that boldness and is changing lives. Sofia*, a young woman from one of those nations, became involved in Youth for Christ. She said, “I belonged to a family which was said to be ‘Christian,’ but in category only. We were actually far from Christianity. Nobody in my family knew God or believed in Christ. My father was not only far from God, but would do black magic, and was addicted to every kind of drugs. He often abused my mother. Our family environment was terrible, and no one from my family even went out in public due to shame and dysfunction.
“I had no concept of doing good, just thinking of myself. I had no interest in talking with anyone and thought, ‘There is no God.’
“Youth for Christ staff often came to the college near me, to meet with girls. I went to their gathering and was so impressed with the discussion that I invited the Youth for Christ staff girl to visit my home. She came one evening and shared the word of God with my family. Right then, God’s word went deep into my heart. I confessed my sin and decided to walk in God’s way.
“I officially joined the Youth for Christ group. It was a completely new experience but everything about it was so wonderful. I grew closer to God and learned how He works in a person’s life and stays with us through every moment of our life. I experience the love of Christ and rejoice in being in God’s hands. I’m studying in college and sharing God’s word with my friends and non-Christians. Not only that, but our family environment has totally changed. My father left drugs and is a changed person.”
“Your prayers and support are vital to continue making this clearly inspired demonstration of faithful obedience possible,” said David, speaking about Youth for Christ outreach there. “Only the gospel can bring salvation to a lost generation.”
Why do you partner with Youth for Christ International? There are a lot of good organisations out there, so why support Youth for Christ?
I could say you should support Youth for Christ because we are a global youth-focused organisation. There are few organisations with the scope (in over 100 nations), the focus (reaching young people with the gospel), or the personal depth (over 50,000 staff and volunteers interacting in personal relationships with young people). For reasons only known to our God, He has chosen to work through Youth for Christ in reaching young people for nearly 80 years.
Ultimately, though, the reason you partner with Youth for Christ International is Katarina or Sofia or the other individual young people whose lives God is changing through you and Youth for Christ. As you read their stories in this EVERY newsletter I hope you will be encouraged that you are leaving a legacy of changed lives all across our world.
-Dave Brereton, Youth for Christ International Director