Right now there are more than 2.1 billion young people in the world. These young people are currently growing up in a place that is hostile to their survival. They are plagued by hunger, disease, war, corruption, drug abuse, poor mental health, and broken homes. These young people represent a future generation desperate for hope.
But, these young people are also experiencing another sort of poverty: spiritual poverty. While meeting their physical needs is monumentally important (and many more people are needed to help with that) meeting their spiritual needs is also of tremendous importance.
In Mark 10:13-16, Jesus reminds his followers of their responsibility to children and young people, “And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.”
Paul reaffirms in Romans 2:11 that, “God is no respecter of persons.” Christ followers must not pick and choose who should be helped. The Christian responsibility to the poverty stricken young people in this world transcends country borders. In the kingdom of God, there are no nationalities, only those who are saved and those who are not yet.
In Wales, young people have access to food, shelter and healthcare. They are, for all intents and purposes, as well off as young people living in the USA and other developed countries. Except that, fewer than 3% of the population know Jesus personally. And those who do struggle to live out their faith in a secular environment that can be toxic to the Christian faith.
So what is to be done for these young people? Should we just assume that the tiny minority of Welsh Christian ministers and leaders are up to the task of reaching the nearly 1 million young people living in Wales? Truly, they are willing, but this harvest is desperate for more workers.
This is where Global Youth Ministry comes in. For the past 10 years, Kevin and Amanda Wilhite have been living and working in Wales and assisting ministers in reaching out to local young people. By hosting events in communities and schools, and by partnering with local churches, more than 10,000 children and young people in Wales have heard the good news of Jesus.
More than that, Global Youth Ministry has been actively partnering with local churches to engage in discipleship and leadership development. Their concerted efforts to promote Vacation Bible School means that hundreds of children in churches across South Wales and southern England will recieve intentional nurture and discipleship every year.
They have also helped foster a spiritual environment which has resulted in multiple young people answering the call to ministry and receiving ministerial training. They have demonstrated that by sharing the gospel and focusing on mentoring and discipleship, the Spirit will produce fruit, even in the harshest environment.
The Wilhites have answered the call to “go” into the world and preach the gospel but they cannot do this alone. Their commitment to reach young people has a cost, and is one that they depend on their brothers and sisters in Christ to help fund.
By raising awareness of the need, and demonstrating that efforts from people like the Wilhites are necessary and effective, Global Youth Ministry wants to know if you would be willing to help?Specifically, will you help the Wilhites reach young people in Wales? They need you.The young people of Wales need you.The only question that remains unanswered is, “What is God calling YOU to do?