People are more important than programs...

Dale Puckett, Director of Operations

“People are more important than programs” is one of the 6 foundational youth ministry principles we have taught thousands of youth workers around the world. At YouthHOPE, we believe that not just in word, but in deed and we do our best to model that in how we interact with our partners. This flows from our core value of “relationships”.

However, we don’t just believe that building relationships are a means to an end, but one of our desired outcomes. We are concerned about and care for our partners and co-workers around the world. For this reason we maintain regular communication with them. We pray for them and their needs daily each morning in our office before working. One of the highlights of our trips are spending time with them, sharing meals with them and encouraging them. And we have seen how God blesses that investment in relationships.

We currently have more than 10 partnerships that have been ongoing for more than three years. We have also seen how our partners have then come alongside us and mobilize with us to be a blessing to new places and new partners. In the last year, we have launched several new partnerships and some of them are too sensitive to mention the name of the countries or the partners. Even under the pressure of trying to stay off the radar, we have been so blessed by these new relationships.

Lastly, we value our relationship with you our supporters, donors and prayer partners. We couldn’t do it without you. We are so grateful that you have been faithful and generous with your time and resources. Because of our relationship, we can rejoice together that tens of thousands of young people have to the chance to know Jesus and experience the life in abundance that he came to give.

Understanding the Church in Persecuted Parts of the World

Jesse Frame, Director of Programming

Understanding the church in persecuted parts of the world can be difficult. Filtering through terminology, politics, other religions, and even fake news floating around Facebook can be daunting. For missionaries, words like “underground” can create some interest in the work they’re doing. As a ministry team, YouthHOPE has always tried to present the truth of who we are working with, to tell their stories, and to share what God is doing around the world without exaggeration or misleading information. We are still learning a lot about about the church in South Asia. It is different from region to region even within the same country.

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Here is what we do know: we traveled illegally into a country where the church does not have the freedoms we have here at home. We worked with some amazing leaders who care about their country, their cities and villages, and about youth. They face obstacles which we are only beginning to understand. They have an inspirational faith. For 3 days, 25 ministry leaders -- young and old, volunteer and full time, men and women -- came together to be trained in our Youth Ministry Leadership program. They left encouraged, uplifted, connected, and passionate about their calling to reach the youth of their country. The training is great, but for those who are working against the grain, I believe sometimes the fellowship is better.

What I Learned As a YouthHOPE Apprentice...

Devin Hubbard, YouthHOPE Apprentice

My name is Devin Hubbard, and I am an apprentice with YouthHope until the end of December.  After my apprenticeship, I will be moving to serve in Chiang Mai, Thailand full-time to serve marginalized youth. Before knowing YouthHope, I thought my two passions of youth ministry and missions were mutually exclusive. Since then, I’ve longed to learn the tools of global youth ministry to help youth living in Asia. I’ve known that the needs of global youth are overwhelming, but during my time with YouthHope I have learned that their assets are even greater. My most impactful takeaway is discovering the practicality of empowering youth, and through God’s power I am completely capable of doing it.  

Building relationships in unreached Central Asia

Luke Miller, Youth Development Specialist

This October, my YouthHOPE teammate Dale and I had an incredible opportunity to build relationships with partners in a highly unreached and under resourced country in Central Asia. Our time was spent with expats and missionaries who felt a call to serve the Lord in this specific country. We built a strong relationship with an international school, which we plan to actively resource by recruiting teachers and providing ongoing support.  

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While we were in country, we led a three day spiritual retreat for high school and middle school students from this school. Our goal was to encourage students with the truth that they were created, called, and equipped by God to do amazing things for His glory. The retreat was a success and we look forward to an ongoing partnership with this school, and other missionaries in the country.