Since we’re going back to Mexico in a few weeks, I had to do some book shopping so I can be better resourced for my classes in Mexico. I bought the following books today.
I also bought Partnering with Parents in Youth Ministry to use as a resource for my family ministry class coming up.
Youth Ministry International exists to train local church workers globally. We are actively involved in five countries. One of the ways we train local church youth workers is through a seminary program called a “Center for Youth Ministry.” There are 8 Centers for Youth Ministry operating outside of the United States. Four of those are in Latin America.
Here are some numbers on the Centers for Youth Ministry:
Estimated students in Fall 2007 – 147
International Centers for Youth Ministry – 8
Graduates by May 2008 – 30
Students in Latin America – 49
It’s an exciting time for Youth Ministry International and the ministry that is taking place throughout the world. I’m happy to be a part of it.
Before I left for Havana, I was searching my house for some reading material to take with me on the trip. That’s not so much of a problem because I have subscriptions to magazines that I get sent to the address in Florida even when I’m in Mexico. So, there’s always a stack of magazines sitting around waiting to be read while we’re in the USA.
So, I picked up a random Group Magazine to take with me. It wasn’t until about halfway through my trip that I decided to open the issue and look at the table of contents. I noticed the name of Russ Cline, a friend of mine who lives in Ecuador. So I turned to his column, which was debuting in that issue. It was on Youth Ministry Heroes. It’s a column where he will profile different youth workers around the world.
As I read the name of the person he was profiling and looked at the picture, I realized it was one of the students involved in the very program that I was teaching at the time. I immediately felt the goosebumps on my skin as God was once again confirming what we are doing in Latin America.
We are excited to share with you all about the graduation of youth ministry students in the Ukraine. Mike and Judy Manna, our coworkers in the Ukraine, sent us this picture of the first 5 graduates from the Center for Youth Ministry there.
In the picture, Mike is sitting in the front row (right hand side) along with Randy Smith, the president of Youth Ministry International.
Mike and Judy are doing what we are doing, but they are doing it in a different part of the world using a different language. It’s awesome to see the fruit of their hard work. We are happy with them to see what God is doing in their ministry.
We’re in the final stretch of planning for the next set of classes in Havana. We just got the visas approved today. The first professor leaves on Friday, and I go the following Saturday. I’m working hard on getting all the things ready for the trip, so please be praying for us as we finish up the planning for this. Also, the students are finishing up their “pre-class” work, so I know they are very busy reading and writing. Stay tuned for more info about the trip.
I finished up the youth ministry workshop in Monterrey on Saturday. Overall, there were about 35 people in attendance. I had a great time and got to hang out on Friday with one of the guys who is very interested in going to the seminary soon. We had a fun time seeing all the sights of Monterrey and eating “cabrito,” or baby goat.
Rafa told me that the part with the most meat would be the “machito.” So we ordered machito. It did have a lot of meat. He wasn’t sure what part of the goat it was. Afterwards we asked and they told us that it was the lungs, heart, etc. I was not thrilled to know that I had just finished eating that part of a goat.
Overall, the workshop experience was great. I had lots of opportunities to spend time with individuals and answer questions about youth ministry. We also talked with a lot of people interested in formal training for youth ministry. We’ll see what comes of those conversations in the future.
I arrived in Florida yesterday and will be here until June when I go out of town for a ministry trip. Our whole family is in Florida until August.