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Click here to download the pdf of Ian's report on his trip to Zimbabwe
February 2012

What a difference 2 years makes. Empty supermarkets and restaurants now stocked. New buses on the roads. The general functions of the country seem to be back on their feet. Is it surface or does it run deep? I guess only time will tell.
The training took place in the Baptist Conference Center which is pretty much in the middle of the country and about 4 hours from Harare. The youth workers were drawn from churches around the regions and although a smallish group, they were very key. I was also struck with how well informed and passionate they were about youth. A very worthwhile group to train.
I started with some background work about understanding discipleship and my philosophy on youth ministry, emphasizing the need to walk alongside young people, to be non judgmental and to never give up on them.
Then through the main workshop sessions we looked at issues that are a challenge in 21st century youth ministry: Traditional Church Youth Culture, bridging the generation gap, Sexual Purity, Relationships, HIV Aids, Addictions, Family breakdown and finally internet/social networking.
As you can see we covered all the fun topics, using discussion, case scenarios etc.

All in all it went well. I felt the teaching was well received and understood. Hopefully I was culturally relevant in a country I have spent little time in, and where I may have been adrift God was able to speak through me.

I was also able to spend time with Brett and Odette, Rebecca and Daniel down in Masvingo. They are much more settled in than last time I was there and Odette has now started to run a small school at the church. It was great to see them again and we managed to get out to Lake Kyle park for a picnic. And saw 3 Rhinos’.
In Harare I met youth workers from a variety of city churches at a BBQ that Paz arranged and got to catch up with friends at Central Baptist Church. Paz and family hosted me wonderfully.
Before heading back to Uganda we managed to get out to Lake Chivero (40km from Harare) for a quick retreat for a night. Very relaxing but it poured with rain almost all the time. The place we stayed had an excellent bird sanctuary, 2 pet zebras and friendly, eccentric owners.

Paz

 

So what about the future? Zimbabwe is far from Uganda but certainly has a great need and hunger for our work. I feel it is fertile ground for YEA. The way forward should ideally be to identify local trainers who we can resource with the methodology of youth ministry and pass on the training manual when it is completed. Then we can make occasional visits and keep in touch and offer support by email. It is also a potential place for a YEA volunteer to be placed for a period, so if you read this report and feel challenged then let us know.
A great trip. I came back a little exhausted thanks to the weird timing of the flights. Midnight check in for a 2am flight of 3 hours to Nairobi. Sit around in the early hours of the morning for 2.5 hours before the 45 minute shuttle home to Entebbe!!

Ian

Ian at a World Heritage Site

Click here to download pdf of Prosper's report on the donation of Bibles March 2012

In the Beginning was the Word...

By Prosper K.

Hebrew 4:12 says; “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. “
“...So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
Statistics show that only 5% of people effectively retain and implement what they have learned through traditional training. This goes up to 85% implementation if they receive ongoing coaching/discipleship. Success is usually evaluated by the quality of material or how well it is presented. In contrast, the effectiveness of discipleship is determined by the increasing success of the disciple. Effective discipleship requires a transformation process while developing a relationship. The process teaches skills, as well as new insights and attitudes. It’s a process of; “knowledge > practice > skills > attitudes > habits” circle? As you have noticed, the start point of this circular process is at the knowledge stage and where best to acquire Christian knowledge than in the Bible. Basically saying, without the availability of Bibles in the societies we work, none of the other process we are trying to start can run successfully.
 

You may have heard or read of the popular adage: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Teaching him to fish is not enough. We take this a step further in the Christian realms using coaching/discipleship. We must also coach this new fishermanto identify and develop fishing strategies; to discover where to fish; how to start a fishing business. He may learn how to fish but he also needs to know how to find fish and also markets to sell his catch.
Strategic discipleship helps minimize unproductive, unemployed fishermen and adds productive contributors to the future growth and development of communities.

 

With the help and support of many kind individuals, YEA has managed to start this cycle by the donation and hand out of Bibles to specific and strategic youths in the areas we work. We offer Bibles, Bible reading skills, materials and Bible study techniques to the youths. With this small mustard seed sown, we can comfortably trust that the
Lord will continue to grow and multiply the seed into fully grown gardens across the lands.
I guess the question you need to ask yourself is how have you helped improve / transform any ones life lately? You can still do this by donating towards the YEA’s Bibles 4 All (B4A) cause.