Building Stronger Families

One of the best parts of this past weekend took place on Saturday at an event I was invited to participate in. It was a forum for parents and younger teenagers (12-16) that was designed to help them improve the communication between them, and it was organized by some of my former students, Oscar and Anna.

Oscar invited me to share with the parents, which was a little intimidating since I don’t have teenagers of my own. The topic of my talk was “10 Principles for Communicating with Teenagers.” We talked about many things while my friend Dante was sharing with the teenagers.

At the end, the pastor had the families come together and pray about how they could better communicate and get along with each other. It was a powerful time as parents were crying and hugging their children, and the children were hugging and affirming their parents. I was proud to be a part of an event that is helping families grow stronger.

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Graduation 2013

Last weekend we celebrated graduation at the Seminary here in Mexico City. We graduated 2 bachelor’s degree students, 2 students who studied almost all of the youth ministry courses at the Bachelor’s level, and 8 Certificate level students.

We are very proud of every single one of them. They all have incredible stories, and God is doing great things both in their lives and through their ministries. We wish all of you could meet them and hear their stories.

We are also grateful for Edgar and Karyna, our teammates and fellow professors, who have been helping us teach classes since January. They have been of much assistance to us both personally and professionally. We are excited to have them with us, training youth workers in Latin America.

“El Gran Viaje” in Coatzacoalcos

This weekend Dennis took a trip to Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, to teach the day long seminary “El Gran Viaje.” This is the same conference that he taught in Veracruz earlier this month. It was a quick trip from Friday to Sunday, and he used all of his time there to talk about youth ministry.

On Friday evening, we invited the local church pastors to a meeting to talk about what is happening with the young people of the region. They talked about many issues, and it was a great time of talking about what the church can do to better minister to young people and their families. Many of these pastors came on Saturday to the training.

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Oaxaca Certificate Class

I took a quick trip to Oaxaca this past weekend to teach the final class in the certificate program there. I left early Friday morning, taught that evening, all day on Saturday, quickly visited the zocalo (downtown square), and then came back to Mexico City.

I had a great time with the students there. We finished up their year long program and are planning to have a graduation ceremony something in August or September (after they turn in their final homework).

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El Gran Viaje in Veracruz

We have an informal one day youth ministry training seminar called “El Gran Viaje.” We had been invited to teach it last week in Veracruz, Mexico, which is about 5 hours from Mexico City.

Since Veracruz is situated on the Gulf of Mexico, we decided to go as a family. Janell and Nathan and I had been there about 7 years ago, so it was time to go back.

We had a great turnout for the conference on Saturday in which I taught the Biblical philosophy of youth ministry that we use at Youth Ministry International. It was a great time of teaching and fellowship with youth leaders from all over the State of Veracruz.

The couple who invited us to Veracruz, Misael and Cindy, are feeling called to study youth ministry at the Seminary in Mexico City, so it was good to spend time with them and talk about what God is doing in their lives.

After the conference on Saturday, we used Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday for vacation. We visited the beach, the aquarium (which is the largest in Latin America), and the pool. The kids loved it. It’s really fun to get to minister and spend time together as a family.

National Youth Leaders’ Summit 2013

This past weekend was PULSO, the National Youth Leaders’ Summit hosted by “Especialidades Juveniles”, the Spanish branch of Youth Specialties, an organization dedicated to training youth workers (similar to Youth Ministry International).

Since we have the same vision, I participate in the team that organizes the event. This year, like last year, my job was to organize the break out sessions. There were 28 “workshops” during the two days. My job was to think up titles and take care of the logistics of that part of the event. It went well.

I also taught a 2 hour course at the event about my new book “Corre para Ganar.” The book is about Running to win in youth ministry and talks about 5 disciplines that each youth leader can develop in order to reach the goal of youth ministry. It went well, and I had a great time teaching it.

One of my favorite parts of the Summit was seeing Kareny and Karyna, 2 of our graduates leading their own workshops. Kareny, who graduated last year, was teaching about leading your group to serve your community. As I listened to her share, I had to step out of the room because God was allowing me to see the realization of a dream.

We are in Mexico to train others so they can train others. I was almost moved to tears when I realized that seeing our graduates teach is exactly what He has planned from the beginning. I am so impressed with their ability to lead a youth ministry and communicate timeless truths to the next generation. Not only that, but God has placed within them the desire to see other youth pastors and leaders raised up to lead the next generation.

I am very proud of all of our graduates, and I am excited to see how God uses them in the future.

Global Day of Prayer for the World’s Youth

We recently received this letter from Randy Smith, the president of Youth Ministry International, and we’d like to share it with you. It’s about a special day of prayer this Sunday, May 5, for the youth of the world. Will you join us?

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