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A Note from a Student

I came home last Saturday from a long day of training in downtown Mexico City, opened my email, and saw that one of my students had sent me a message.

It was from Kareny, a first year student in the Bachelor’s degree program at the Seminary. (Pictured in the middle with her fiance Josue and Huberto, the youth pastor of her church).

She had just come home from a youth event at her church, where she was able to see God impact the lives of various of the young people with whom she is working. She was writing us to tell us about it, and she said:

“Dennis, today I lived one of those things that make you feel that nothing else matters besides ministry. I thank God for calling me (into the ministry) and for having called you and Huberto…

Thanks, Dennis, for being here with us. Thank you for obeying your calling; God has brought many blessings to all of us because of it. Thanks to your wife for supporting you; she is an example. Thank you for being in Mexico. Thanks for having so much patience. Thanks for dedicating time to us. Thanks for understanding us. Thanks for praying praying for us. Thanks for sharing the knowledge that God has given you. Thank you for everything.

May God richly bless you, your wife, and your children.”

Receiving that message made me think of you. Without your prayer and support, we would not be here. We all play a part in what God is doing in the ministries of our students. He is doing great things both in their lives and the lives of the young people with whom they work. Thank you for praying and supporting this ministry.

For more information about how you can support our ministry and make a difference in the lives of young people in Latin America, click here.

Diploma in Youth Ministry – Round 2

Today we started a new group in our Youth Ministry diploma program at the Mexican Baptist Theological Seminary. There are 7 new students in the program, bringing our total to 13. Huberto is teaching them “Principles of Youth Ministry,” which is our basic philosophy class.

We’ve decided that one of the best ways to do some training is to make it semi-formal. Basically, these classes are close to the equivalent to a youth ministry conference. They are kind of a mix between a conference and a class, focused on practical concepts and principles that will help youth workers in their local church youth ministries.

Each course is 16 hours long, which we do over 4 weeks. It’s a fun way to train youth workers, and it helps reach out to those who may not yet be able to come to the Seminary full-time.

The diploma program helps us reach our goal of recruiting, networking, training, and supporting youth workers in Latin America.

Check out these other posts about the diploma program:

Search & Win

Visiting Youth Ministry Professors

This week is the week of intensive courses at our Seminary. Dr. Karen Jones from Huntington University is teaching the youth ministry course called “Foundations of Youth Ministry.”

She is focusing on lesson plans and teaching/learning styles. It’s great to have her here with us.

There are lots of things I love about having professors visit Mexico and interact with my students.

Here are a few of them:

  1. The students get to know (and learn from) someone else besides me, who has different experiences and a different teaching style.
  2. The students have the chance to learn from experts in various subjects.
  3. The students have the opportunity to expand their network of contacts in the youth ministry world.
  4. Other professors get to be involved in Global Youth Ministry and can see what is happening in youth ministry in Mexico.
  5. The visiting professors have a better grasp on how to pray for our ministry.
  6. I have time to work on other projects (like our diploma in youth ministry program).
  7. I get to know and network personally with other youth ministry professors.

If you’re in youth ministry, have you ever thought about visiting a foreign country and sharing what you have learned in ministry with youth workers overseas? Youth Ministry International would love to be in contact with you and see how you can contribute to global youth ministry training. Contact us.

Video of Being Led by God

Yesterday, I posted about our discipleship experience we had on Monday.

Here’s the video of what happened. It’s a pretty long video, but it shows the entire experience, which led me to reflect a lot on what it means to allow God to lead me throughout life.

Later, I’ll post my thoughts and what I learned through the entire experience.

Blindfolded and Led Away

Today, I was blindfolded, put into public transportation, and led to unknown place. If that sounds scary, now I’ll tell you that my Seminary students were the ones who did this to me.

We had an example program today that a group of my students from my programming class had to organize, much like last week’s camping trip, which was also organized by a group of my students.

Today, the entire theme was “Guided by God.” We were divided into two groups and then blindfolded. We sat down, and someone washed our feet, gave us a backpack with needed supplies, and then led us on a trip. We left the Seminary property and crossed the giant foot bridge that is out front. Then we got into a mini-bus and were led to a place where we gave away a sandwich to a stranger. Then we got into another “combi” and were on our way back to the Seminary.

When we got back to the seminary, we were led into another room and were introduced to our “guide.” The guide was Jesus, and they led us in a time of reflection on what it means to be guided by God. It was a great lesson.

They recorded the entire trip, so I’ll put up some video soon of our experience. (UPDATE: Here’s the video)

(Photo by: B Tal on flickr)

Youth Emphasis Week 2009 Recap

The purpose of this year’s Youth Emphasis Week at the Mexican Baptist Theological Seminary was to create the awareness of the need to work with young people, to walk beside them in their problems, and to make an investment in their lives because God can turn those problems into opportunities for future ministry.

We used the format of a television program, turned the entire auditorium into a TV set, and we titled the program “Invertidos” (Inverted). There is a play on words in Spanish that uses the meanings invest and invert.

On the first day, we invited Huberto (our first YM graduate in Mexico and now youth ministry professor) to be the special guest, so along with all the usual TV show stuff, we asked him to talk about the problems that young people have, and we left it at that: The problems we go through cause our lives to be messed up.

Day 2 was the day for the homiletics class to preach, so the student who preached talked about Genesis 3, temptation and sin.

Day 3 was an open forum where we saw a case study of a girl and guy who grew up in the church, began sleeping together, and got married behind everyone’s back (but each of them still lived with their own parents). He went to the USA to work, but got involved with another girl, and now wants a divorce. We invited answers from the crowd about how to handle the situation. We left thinking that we didn’t really know how to handle the situation.

invertido inverted croppedDay 4 finished up the week with a look at how God sees these trials in our lives. I spoke about our ability to only see the past and the present while God can see the future. I used 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 to talk about how God sees us not as who we are but how we can be. He sees the future and wants to use these problems that young people are going through now to comfort others in the future.

Overall, I think the week went well. It was great to see the YM students come together as a team and pull off a lot of creative elements. I’m proud of them and their effort. It was a lot of work, but it produced what we had hoped to produce.

Thanks for praying. When I get some time, I hope to post a recap video.

Youth Ministry Retreat

Grupo en el campa

Sunday night and Monday, I went away (about an hour away) with the youth ministry students for a retreat experience.

It was organized by a group of them for their programming class. Overall, we had a good time. It was tiring (especially after Youth Emphasis Week), but fun.

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