By Devin Hubbard with Prosperous Youth Foundation
We have a few traditions here at Prosperous Youth Foundation (PYF). Family Night, Monday Lunch, and Chicken Curry Tuesday just to name a few. But arguably none are more important than streaming the new episode of Survivor. We research (mainly Adam and Allison) and make lists from winner to first out. There is bragging, speculating, and evaluating the players. In Survivor, 20 people are left on an island by themselves and must survive without support from the normal life they have left. Though our team loves this show, I am reminded of how important it is NOT to be isolated on an island when working for the Kingdom.
For 9 days in May 2019, Youth For Christ (YFC) Thailand organized a camp for high school youth to train and practice sharing their faith. Thailand’s population is around 1% Christian (one of the top 10 most unreached countries in the world). During this week 100+ students from that 1% came together to worship, train, and go out, all with the other 99% in mind.
YFC asked the Ends Cycling family, to partner with them because they knew PYF organized a really impactful camp for 350+ students from youth homes every year. We decided to jump in, wanting to support another youth-focused organization. Amongst the 100+ students were around 20 youth from homes in our network, many from our Youth Leadership Development group. At the end of 4 days of training, these students split up into mission teams, partnering with local churches to go out and ANNOUNCE (literal Thai translation for evangelism) the Gospel for 4 days. The teams built relationships with 790 people, shared their faith with 360 of them, and 56 decided to follow Christ (another 8 were interested)! Though these are statistics, they represent real people.
I (Devin) went out with a team of 7 students and 3 leaders to the most rural of the mission team locations. On my team were 6 students from a local church and 1 from our youth home network. I was ecstatic because this girl, Mai, had been at a small camp we organized the month prior. As we came together the first time I was honestly scared for Mai. While everyone else was laughing, she sat still with a worried look. As we left the campsite for our mission site she seemed terrified enough to puke. Wow was I wrong! We stopped for lunch along the way, while the rest of us didn’t think the mission actually started, Mai sat at a different table with other girls and began talking to them about Christ!
We hadn’t even arrived yet. She said they lived close to her and were interested in going to her church. Later at the market, she was the first to walk up to someone and begin a conversation. That night our team sat in a circle and encouraged one another. I shared how impressed I was with her bravery, that it challenged me. Throughout the week she was always the first to jump in, no matter how hot or tired we were.
One night as we washed dishes together Mai shared with me that at the PYF camp as she listened to a testimony, she decided to take her faith seriously. Now she was so grateful to begin learning what that looked like. She was an example of bravery driven by the love of Christ.
Do you see it? The 2019 Key West Bike Ride supported this YFC camp. PYF partnered with YFC to organize it, which allowed Mai to attend. Mai committed her life to Christ at a PYF event. Now Mai wants her life to be a light of Christ in a place that doesn’t know him. The Kingdom is built through partnership, not individual church/organizational islands. On behalf of Mai, the other 100+ students, YFC, and PYF, we thank you.