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Value of Investing in Youth

Value of Investing in Youth

As a small mission agency in a “family”-oriented denomination, we recognize the value of investing in missionary families, especially their children. To this end, World Witness held its first Youth Retreat in France for MK’s (missionary kids) grades 6-12. The maturity of this group was notable in their ability to have deep biblical discussions and significant insights into their own emotional and spiritual challenges of growing up on the mission field. Curtis McKowen, Godspeed Resources, led discussions. He has a special heart for MK’s and is a trained counselor. The youth responded very well to him. 

Many thanks to the Brickey family for organizing this retreat. Please keep praying for our MK’s and consider asking a young person, whom you know, to reach out to them through prayer and friendship. - Alex Pettett

"Living overseas as a missionary kid has its ups and downs. Having lived overseas for nearly 2½ years now, I can say that I have had some of the greatest adventures of my life while living in Spain and some of the hardest adventures. It can feel isolating being a Christian teenager in a foreign country where they find your beliefs “strange” or “abnormal.” 

At the WW Youth Retreat, I went in with an open mind. I noticed just how many of us there really are – 13 in all – and discovered my experience was not unique to just me. Together, we attended 8 seminars, led by Curtis McGown, detailing, through the Psalms, how to deal with the troubles we face as MK’s living overseas. Most memorable was seeing the built-in community we share – having similar stories and needing friends who understand. 

This retreat provided well-needed respite and valuable community. Thank you to World Witness and to the team of leaders who made this camp happen." - Alex Brickey, Spain

"Every summer, in northern Lithuania, Reformed-Church youth run a series of children’s camps. In 2016, a German pastor, who helped them, retired, so the youth needed a chaplain. Since then, the camps have been a highlight of our year as we work intensively with youth and children – the future of the Reformed churches in Lithuania. 

Six months after our first camp, I needed translators for my preaching at the Kaunas Reformed Church, where I had been appointed pastor. My translator, Vaidotas Ickys, had just left for seminary training in the U.S. (He now pastors in northern Lithuania.) I asked Dominykas, a young Reformed man based in Kaunas, for help in finding a translator. “No problem,” he said, “we – the youth – can do it.” Since then, every Saturday evening I sit with a translator for 2 hours to prepare the Sunday sermon. It’s a wonderful opportunity to explain the Gospel and has led to great friendships. 

Recently, we’ve needed help preparing rooms, within the Kaunas Reformed Church building, for winter worship. The main sanctuary has 26 x 18-feet tall windows. Some are broken; frames are rotten. Replacing them will be a huge expense. In the meantime, winter worship (at least 7 months of the year) has to be in a smaller room. Each year, we’ve expanded – from a 15-seater room to a 30-seater to now, a 50-seat room near the church entrance. The youth have spent several summer weekends helping us. 

The common theme here? We need each other. The youth and young adults need Bible teaching and training. We need practical help with translation, plastering, painting, etc. Strong relationships have developed. They come by often. We listen to their stories and share our own experience of the Lord’s loving provision, discipline, and training. We’re grateful to Jesus for each connection and opportunity!" - Frank van Dalen, Lithuania


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