From May 20 - 26, 2015, YFC Canada hosted 4 International staff who participated in its annual national training conference called "Summer Institute". It was held on the campus of Redeemer University in Ancaster, Ontario. Each carry their own powerful story of calling and commitment to God's work within YFC.
Michelle Cato /Trinidad & Tobago
God has a sense of humour! Michelle is convinced of it. Up to 7 years ago, Michelle felt that she neither had the patience or gifting to work with children & teens. Of course that was before God got a hold of her heart and she dedicated her live to Christ. This included a transformation for her whole family, which included her husband and children of her own.
They both started working as volunteers with YFC, co-ordinating various community outreaches and driving youth to events. Michelle had some obvious gifts in administration and planning which the Lord used as she assumed a new full time role as an YFC Regional Co-Ordinator. With tears in her eyes, she sees the urgency in reaching this generation of youth for Christ who are on a journey seeking a purpose and meaning for their existence.
Thank you for being open to be used by our King.
Abner Hernandez / Ecuador
He and his spouse (Aimee) have been active in YFC leadership since 2009. They offer support to the Central America Region with specific focus on new ministry development. They have been influential in Costa Rica and are currently located in Ecuador.
Sasha Dubinin /Ukraine
Watch out for praying grandmothers!
Sasha was from a violent & broken home. At age 13 his grandmother, whose calloused knees from prayer, led Sasha to Christ. His life was transformed and now at age 33 is the National Director of this war-torn country.
He currently oversees over 1,000 volunteers and 15 full time staff running a system of 200 clubs throughout the country.
Alongside church partners in a collaborative effort to reach the 4 million youth age 6 – 18. His desire is to be able to co-ordinate ministries to go from the current 5,000 youth to 400,000 who are in that school age bracket. It’s a God size vision in need of prayer.
Josue (Mari) Mendez /Costa Rica
Josue and his wife Mari from Costa Rica are serving a two internship as house parents in a program called UTURN in Brandon, Manitoba.
Uturn Homes are semi-independent homes for youth aged 15 to 19, providing a safe stable living environment and training for employability and independent living. Youth come from abandoned homes and broken families where little or no adult involvement has been apparent in their lives.
Josue is amazed at the high anxiety levels he sees in the lives of these broken youth. “We focus on homeless youth and youth at risk of becoming homeless as well as youth coming out of a hurtful family system who need a place to heal.”. Link to UTURN House Video
Picture Below (L to R)
Daryl Stogryn (YFC Canada), Michelle Cato (Trinidad & Tobago), Abner Hernandez (Ecuador), Sasha Dubinin (Ukraine), Josue Mendez (Costa Rica), Jeanette Thiessen (YFC Canada)