we just got the report from Compassion International evaluating
the impact of last summers RAICES conference
we were preparing for our *RAICES
board meeting, I plowed through the pertinent parts of the 180-page
report, sharing the most notable bits with Tim.
you believe that 44 percent of the Compassion Int'l partner
churches who sent someone to the conference say they dont
have the materials. Its not just that the manual and
the CDs with the resources disappeared after the conference;
its that in many cases the people who went to the conference
are no longer working either with Compassion or with that
local church. Only 13.5 percent of the people currently working
directly with the sponsored kids as tutors went
to the training event.
If we ever
need a good outline of the barriers that have to be overcome
for a church to love and minister to teenagers well, weve
got it in this report: leadership who doesnt see the need
for youth ministry; lack of people who care about youth, while
the ones who do care lack time and resources, kids who cant
come to the programs because of homework or other responsibilities,
disorganized, boring meetings. The list goes on and on. Not
really an encouraging scenario.
made me laugh the hardest:
the youth pastor of our church went to the conference. He
was going to come today for the interview but, um, I dont
most made me want to cry:
kids from the church are mean to those of us who are sponsored
by Compassion. They look us up and down to see how were
dressed and when we answer a question they laugh at us.
knew there had to be a but...there are a
few people who got it, like the person from Chimbote who said:
told us to meet together once a week and work through the
material in the manual, so we do that every Friday. I chose
potential leaders, as they told us to. At first there were
four of them but now there are seven, with me, eight.
quote comes from the same person (my hunch
is that he or she is the one person interviewed who actually
attended the conference):
doesnt happen overnight, but now were in the process.
Weve recently restructured our programs, adding a ministry
focused specifically on adolescents. Were gradually
implementing this new ministry in our entire denomination
at the national level.
the verse that says God is able to do much more than we ask
or imagine? Sometimes it feels like He does much less than we
ask and imagine. Ive been thinking lately about how that
is where faith comes in: being sure of what we hope for and
certain of what we do not see. By faith we trust that He is
doing much more than we imagine.
you Im sure, we face realities that are both worse than
we would like and better than we know. May God grant us all
the endurance to continue moving ahead in the face of discouraging
realities and the faith to trust that one day we will be overwhelmed
by the reality of what God has done.
literally translates as "Roots", but since 1999
this organization has been spearheading in-depth training
for youth leaders in Latin America.