As a ministry we have been serving Christian leaders in Africa since 1998. The work has been a huge blessing to many churches and therefore individual lives as well. In preparation for a recent trip over the last week of September, I asked our team in Africa how I could serve them. They mentioned two main areas. First, to be available for meetings with top denominational minis- try leaders to share the vision and strategies that can be implemented. Secondly, to be available to train over 20 local Christian leaders to become certified trainers of the Global Youth Ministry Network materials so that the multiplication of the ministry could continue. I am totally amazed by the doors that were opened and the impact that we would foresee.
We had numerous meetings with top leaders of entire denominations. The smallest group represented 150 churches, while the largest represented some 1400 churches (a total among just 4 groups added up to 2800 churches). At each of these gatherings we heard of the need to have their leaders trained in the principles of ministry from the life of Jesus Christ that we offer.
One of the groups that was most excited about the variety of trainings we offer was the Africa Gospel Church. This group was the first to welcome us to Africa over 17 years ago. Sitting in a meeting with 4 of the top 5 highest ranking church leaders, we realized that the 4 who were present had all been through our trainings over the past 17 years! This shows us of the impact that the trainings have had on leaders as they now lead over 1400 churches filled with people being discipled to evangelize. Not only are we continuing the training of youth ministry leaders, but this team requested that we train their top tier of church leaders across the country. They have seen how the principles we have taught over the years are transferable for all church ministry leadership areas. Therefore, we took action to carryout another version of our trainings targeted toward pastors and church ministry leaders. We have known for some time that there was a need globally for expanding our training beyond youth ministry leaders, but to hear this large group request this new version of the training was a great confirmation that the ministry is expanding in the right direction.
In addition to this meeting, we met with top leadership of another denomination of 700 churches. Not only are they scheduling 4 trainings for youth ministry leaders across the country next year, they have also requested the church leadership version of the trainings as well.
Beyond these top level strategic planning and vision casting meetings with top leaders, I also led a training of over 20 indigenous ministry leaders who were pursuing the calling to be one of our trainers in the region. Leaders at this event were from Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Swaziland, Zambia and Kenya. The room was filled with energetic leaders craving the opportunity to take what they had learned back to their home country and share it with others. Imagine top quality young leaders, full of passion and the power of the Gospel gathered together, to be further encouraged and unleashed to go impact the biggest mission field in Africa, the youth! This was an amazing time with these leaders. We are so excited to see the impact already happening. Just this week I had a video conference with Workneh Dawit, the key leader from Ethiopia, who oversees youth ministry to over 8,000 churches. For this video conference he had brought in a leader who had already begun to connect top leaders from 10 other large denominations for the country. We have already begun to discuss and plan for events in 2016 to further multiply the impact in Ethiopia!
I would have been very satisfied to call this a hugely successful trip, but in the midst of this time I received an email from a partner ministry that trains youth ministry leaders at a seminary level. They offer Masters Degrees in Youth Ministry around the globe. We have started to work with them on several projects. While in Kenya I received an email that we were being included in plans with the Nigeria Baptist Convention to assist in training 30 hand picked leaders who will commit to offer what they learn to the 13,000 churches that have 4 million members. They will strategically take these trainings first to their 10 seminaries and Bible colleges and also take the trainings of Global Youth Ministry Network to the majority of the youth leaders in the 13,000 potential church locations! These are astounding levels of impact that together we get to have across the different areas of the continent of Africa.
As we finish 2014 and look ahead to 2015, we have seen God do some incredible things in people’s lives around the globe. We have together trained close to 1600 leaders from 12 different countries! What an incredible ministry we have together!
We have one more final opportunity for you to personally impact others this year that we want to make you aware of.
A generous donor has offered up to $1500 in funding for the ministry in order help us start 2015 off well.
Your opportunity comes in because this offer is a matching opportunity. Here is how it will work:
Those current regular donors who increase their monthly amount will see the amount they increase matched for the first 3 donations. (For example if you currently support at $100 a month and you decide to increase your monthly support by $25 a month ($75 increase over 3 months). Then the matching donor will contribute another $75 making your increased donation amount double!)
If you are a new monthly donor your monthly pledge donation will also be matched over the first 3 months.
(If you pledge $100 per month ($300 over 3 months), the matching donor will donate $300 as well! Doubling the amount of impact over the first 3 months!)
We deeply appreciate you walking with us both financially and prayerfully!
Contributions can be made via the PayPal link on the right or by mail ~ 91 Park Ave W. Suite G, Mansfield, Ohio 44902. (All donations made or postmarked on or before December 31st will be eligible for a tax deduction for 2014).
Looking forward to 2015 together!
This amazing event held for the second time in the Philippines offered soul care for ministry leaders within a safe and secure environment. Leaders experienced dynamic teaching on how to finish well in their ministry and were given opportunities to be positioned before the Lord for His ministry to them personally and to express this impact as desired to a group of peers led by a seasoned mentor.
There are two approaches to take when it comes to offering trainings for youth and church leaders globally. One is to accept almost every invitation for a training event. The other is to insure the partners you work with are: 1.) Strategic influencers 2.) That the host understands the long-term potential impact (versus a one-time only event). We always look for hosts who are interested in a long-term, far reaching ministry impact. One way we describe this strategy is with our seminar levels (or steps). Each of the paragraphs below refer to our steps in ministry development in different locations globally.
Our work in Ethiopia began back in 2012, with our current partner. Sure it has taken some patient work and diligent discussions, but it is great to
see that we have a partner who understands the beauty of long-term multiplication versus only a one-time event. Our Kenya based Africa team recently finished a training of 65 leaders in Ethiopia. Not only did they train this group, but they also worked with the host to select three Ethiopian trainers. Just a few weeks after our Kenyan team had returned home, the Ethiopian leaders carried out their very first locally run training of 58 leaders! This is the exciting phase of the ministry to see take place. Once local leaders own the trainings, then they can impact their country and beyond. Our role then changes from being the main trainers to being the ones who encourage, assist and lead them in planning for the future impact. Our Ethiopian group has the potential to impact over 7000 churches. This great leadership team is well on its way up the steps.
Bangladesh is a small Asian country surrounded almost totally by India. This highly Muslim country is home to 164 million people of which 99.3% are considered non-Christian. The need here is tremendous and our teams are taking the next steps to continue to provide local leaders for ministry in their local languages. Jomesh Tamang, the Northwest Asia GYMN Director, recently trained our first group of Level 2 leaders in Bangladesh. Together with the host, Alfred Biplob, they selected a team of local trainers as well. It was exciting to see that while Jomesh was in Bangladesh, Bishal Gurung, (GYMN Nepal Training Coordinator) was busy leading a training (without Jomesh) in Pohkara, the second biggest city in Nepal! The work continues to multiply globally.
One of the updates from another training in Nepal allowed us to hear from Bala Ghale, who is a youth leader at Valche Church, that attended our recent Level 1 training in Kahule, Nuwakot, Nepal:
“We have over 150 young people in our youth ministry where our Church congregation is over 1200. I am a youth leader in the Church but I have never been to this kind of training that teaches us how to do youth ministry. I have been to many bible trainings and leadership trainings but have never been to one that only focuses on youth ministry. This training has been eye opening to the areas we need to cover in the youth ministry and how to lead youth step by step in orderto make them leaders.” – Bala Ghale
In another region our wonderful Kenya team of Nick Korir and Martha Sijenyi were busy overseeing the trainings and planning times in Kenya and Uganda. The Embu, Kenya training was a Level 2 training with 79 partici- pants. In addition to the work in Kenya and Uganda our team also sent Kenya trainers, Morris Opati and Jackson Maina to lead the before mentioned training in Ethiopia.
You have heard us always mention different levels of trainings. We are continuing to expand our work globally by adding a Level 4 or what we call: Heart of the Leader. This is a two part event that helps experienced leaders be positioned to run the long-haul marathon of life and ministry. These are not “how to” events, they are, “how are you doing personally?”, events. These gatherings help us to be available at GYMN to pastor other pastors and leaders and provide encouragement and personal spiritual guidance. We are excited to do retreat one starting October 24th (retreat two will be in July, 2015). Our Southeast Asia team in the Philippines asked to take the lead in continuing this ministry. We should have leaders from several countries attending! Please pray for the necessary finances and details to come together for all of the invited participants.
Thank you for the steps you take in prayer and financial support, not just monthly but above and beyond in additional offerings as well!
Have you ever heard the statement, “No pain—no gain”? Usually this refers to sports and their training regiments. However, this is true in our ministry and at times in our life as well. As I write this final version of this newsletter, I am in pain. I am just into a recovery stage of a very bad lower back strain that has left me in the bed and immobile for a few days and now only able to stand for short periods of time. The painful part also is not just the physical pain, but I had to make the hard decision to cancel my upcoming ministry trip to Africa (Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia). At first this bothered me deeply, but when I called to talk with our Africa team they encouraged me to stay home and rest and said that the ministry programs we planned will go forward! My pain is causing additional progress of the next stage of local ownership of the ministry in Africa! I am reminded that all things will work together for good as Paul stated in Romans 8:28. The notes below are the notes I wrote regarding the training trip over a week ago before my injury.
We have a place in our front yard for a small tree. This location was set by the original landscape designs to have a small tree in an area with other smaller bushes. The only problem is that whenever we plant a tree here it never lives more than a few years. At first I thought it was just the tree, but after pulling out several of the trees we realized the issue was the soil and the fact that a large area around the house was filled with gravel beyond the original design. This reminds me of growth in areas of our life and the ministry we all are a part of, Global Youth Ministry Network.
For something to grow it needs the right soil and setting. In addition the growth first has to be deeper in order for the visible growth to be wider (and higher). Just like a tree, our ministry is constantly assessing our growth in depth so that we can continue to grow wider. One of our GYMN board members referenced this principle from the prophet Isaiah in regards to a tent (wider) and it’s stakes (deeper). Isaiah 54:2 reads, “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.” Thankfully the ministry is growing in both directions as you see here.
Many of you know that in the past few months I was able to literally travel around the globe as I served our teams in India, Nepal and the Philippines. In a short time our Africa team will be leading another three-country ministry focus in the continent of Africa.
I am so proud of our staff and volunteers in Africa who have kept the ministry moving forward despite some difficult circumstances. The work there in Africa continues to go deeper and wider. The teams have been a solid stake in the ground as they reach youth and leaders in this continent. Led by Pastor Nick Korir and our GYMN Africa Board, staff and volunteers we are embarking on expansion in depth and width.
The Africa teams will be working in Kenya, East Africa. First, they will be meeting with and developing vision and plans with our trainers, Africa Board and staff. This group is our group of roots that support the growth of the ministry in Africa. Their work will be to water, strengthen and fertilize GYMN’s Kenyan roots so they can con- tinue to spread throughout Africa.
Next will be a trip to Ethiopia to the north. This incredible group of over 7000 churches in Ethiopia is entering it’s next phase of trainings. Jackson Maina (from Kenya) will travel to Addis Ababa to lead a Level 2 event. After this the leaders will be prepared to lead their own trainings locally in the future as we select qualified trainers. As you can see the branches are growing wider in this region!
For the final leg of their trip, our Africa team will meet up with our Uganda team inKampala. Here they will be putting together plans and trainings for them to grow the ministry to spread outside of Kampala to unreached areas of the countryside! Our administrator for GYMN Africa (Martha Sijenyi) from Kenya will be there to also deepen the ministry by teaching the administrative aspects needed to run the trainings in Uganda!
It is so exciting that you as GYMN supporters get to be the water and fertilizer that partners in the growth and fruit of the ministry around the globe. Together we all have a role to play that can seem painful but brings eternal progress. We are seeing first hand the fruit of multiplication as local leaders take over key areas!
Watch this video from GYMN-Asia 15 year celebration!
The GYMN Level 1 training in India has finished.
Chris and Jomesh travel today to Nepal to begin training there.
Pray with us!
As you read this I (Chris Davis) have already embarked on a long journey that began, Sunday March 23rd. In total I will travel in planes over 50 hours as I travel east over the Atlantic ocean to India, then continue northeast to Nepal, then southeast to the Philippines then home over the Pacific ocean.
I will be working in India with Jomesh Tamang from Nepal from March 25th until March 27th. We will train a Level 1 with our host Anil Alexander, an Indian pastor in Mumbai. It will be exciting to see how God uses this event and to see what plans we can make for this gigantic country of over 1 billion people!
In Nepal on the dates of March 31th – April 2nd, I will be leading a first ever-church leaders version of our trainings. As well as working with the GYMN Nepal board, staff and volunteers.
In the Philippines, from April 5th until April 8th, we are having one large event of up to 45 participants. GYMN training of trainers, which is for those desiring to become a volunteer trainer with us. A volunteer group for those whose gifts may not be teaching, but who have a passion for the ministry. The Heart of the Leader. This will be for some local pastors and leaders to have time to be ministered to.
We will all celebrate together our 15th Anniversary of GYMN in the Philippines.
My scheduled return date is April 8th.
Please pray for me, my family (Penny and Levi in Mansfield) as well as for all of our teams in the above locations and those attending that God will move in each of us for the sake of His purpose of reaching and discipling others for His sake!
Thank you being a part of this multiplication movement that is global in scope and eternal in impact!
Global Youth Ministry Network