Jesse Frame, Leadership Development Coordinator, YouthHOPE
As youth workers, some of our greatest desires are to see our young people grow in their faith, confidently embrace who they are and who they are called to be in Christ, and then begin to use their gifts while pursuing God’s will for their lives. For youth in Bhutan, this is not an easy journey.
Bhutan is less than 1% Christian. Article 7 of the 2008 constitution guarantees religious freedom, but also forbids conversion 'by means of coercion or inducement'. According to ministry workers in the country, this hinders the ability of Christians to proselytize and makes embracing the call of Christian leadership daunting. Mahayana Buddhism is the State religion and Bhutan is the last remaining country in which Buddhism in its tantric, vajrayana form, is the state religion.
For the last 2 years, YouthHOPE has had the privilege of partnering with local youth workers in Bhutan. While we have provided training and resources, we have been inspired by their passion and commitment. We have watched them do the hard work of building youth ministry on a national level. In January 2016, our Christian brother held a regional youth bible study after which he shared the highlight of the weekend with our team: “our volunteer youth leaders started leading & teaching the sub groups.” It is beautiful news to hear of youth taking on the mantle of Christian leadership in Bhutan.
At less than 1%, the Church of Bhutan has a challenging task. Will you join us in obeying Jesus’ instruction to pray for workers in this field? Pray for strength and growth for these young leaders and those who are investing in them. As you pray, ask God how you can contribute to the needs of the Bhutanese church. Through YouthHOPE’s Youth Ministry Leadership Training program, it costs an average of only $62.50 to train a youth worker. Praise God for what he is doing, and will do, in Bhutan.