Youth ministry (and church ministry in general) was status quo... these leaders were no longer ok with this.
Dale Puckett, serving with YouthHOPE, details the impact their recent training had on leaders in Cambodia.
YouthHOPE has been in relationship with Legacy of Hope International (LOHI) for several years, but this is the first time we have had an opportunity to train pastors, youth pastors, and youth workers in their network.
My teammate Jesse and I spent several days pouring into and training 25 pastors, youth pastors, and youth workers from all over Cambodia. Often times we ask ourselves "were these the right people to attend?" That can be a difficult question to answer. I believe we were able to work with some high capacity leaders who will implement what they have learned to impact youth in Cambodia with the Gospel!
Our time in Cambodia was incredible. The leader of LOHI in Cambodia is a Filipino missionary named Sam. He and his family have served in Cambodia for nearly 20 years. They have assembled a team to minister to youth there. Many of these young people are either rescued out of trafficking situations or they are "at risk" of being involved in trafficking. LOHI is a blessing to this community!
Many of the conversations we had dealt with the fact that there had not been much youth ministry training in this region. In fact, most of the leaders who attended our training had no formal training in youth ministry or strategic planning. Youth ministry (and church ministry in general) was status quo. One statement I heard more than once was, "What we do is the way we do it because it's always been that way." After several days together, these leaders were no longer ok with this.
"Even if I learn a lot and even get a certificate, if I don't have action to bring people to believe Jesus, it's all useless." This was a statement made by the Cambodian youth worker pictured next to me in the red Jesus shirt. I agree with her statement!
We believe youth in Cambodia will be positively impacted with the Gospel and life transformation will occur because of the renewed passion and desire these leaders now have. Pastor Sam shared with us there are many, many more leaders who need training. Our goal will be to continue to serve LOHI and leaders and Cambodia as the Lord opens doors for our team.