Updated: Sep 3
By Rebekah Saum - YouthHOPE
I stood in the lobby of the Melili Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya and watched with delight. A 60 year old Zambian and a 20 year old Zimbabwean embraced heartily as if they hadn’t seen each other in years. Three young ladies, all from different countries ran to each other with excitement and quickly made their way to a table to catch up over breakfast. These five along with ten others made up quite the unexpected group. There were six different African nations represented among them with ages ranging from 20-60. Some of them were single and some married with children, yet despite all their differences they were all united around one common purpose: to see the lives of young people transformed by training the youth workers who serve them.
We had all traveled hours to participate in session two of YouthHOPE’s School of Youth Ministry Trainers and after 6 months apart we were excited to hear what God had done since our last meeting. During our first session, each participant was tasked with going back to their country to start training youth workers with what they had learned. They dreamed big and planned to hold 9 training events and train 172 people. Now that we were back together, we couldn’t wait to hear how they had done.
On the first day of training, one by one, each participant stood and told the account of their training events: their challenges, their successes, and their results. We were charting the numbers on a poster board and our hearts swelled as the chart grew with each presentation. It wasn’t long until we realized that they had not only met their goal, but they were going to surpass it. Not only did we surpass our goal, but when the final tally was in, it was literally off the chart. The poster board wasn’t big enough to register the whopping 346 youth workers they had trained in over 23 training events. Each one of those 346 youth workers will impact countless young people over the span of their ministry, and we are just now beginning to see the ripple effect from our time at the School of Youth Ministry Trainers.
As I sit here today reflecting on the privilege that we all have to be a part of God’s great work among the youth of Africa I am reminded once again of my favorite Bible passage: "Now to HIM who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21
Thank you for helping make all of this possible. Your prayers and miles pedaled are bringing about eternal results in the whole continent of Africa. To God be the Glory!