MalaysiaDaniel Loh, Youth Pastor
Hi, my name is Daniel Loh, Youth Pastor at Georgetown Baptist Church in Penang, Malaysia.
My journey with youth ministry began when I finished university when God placed a desire in my heart to minister to young people. Being a sportsman, I sought to be involved in youth ministry using sports, but there was no peace to follow through on some of those ministry possibilities.
I was led to work in the corporate world, and a door opened up in a college where I worked for four years. It was here that God opened my eyes to see campus student life, and soon I began to lead a campus Christian fellowship.
During the second year of college, I began attending Georgetown Baptist Church. A year and a half after joining the church, God reminded me of my call to serve Him when the pastor asked if I wanted to serve God in the church. In June 2005 I quit my job and went on staff at the church as Youth Director.
In July 2005 I enrolled in the Masters of Arts Youth Ministry program at Malaysia Baptist Theological Seminary. Here, I first met Randy Smith and was introduced to Youth Ministry International. It was also when my mother told me how she dedicated me to the Lord when I was young, just like Hannah, and I then understood why I had the intrinsic desire to serve God without any “burning bush” experience.
The only youth ministry training I had previously was what I learned as a teen in my home church. The Youth Ministry major helped me learn different ways of doing things. YM101 gave me a big picture while other courses were the nuts and bolts giving me a good grasp of, and first few steps into, each area of youth ministry.
It was interesting how God’s timing was spot on with what I was learning in class and then an issue related to it would come up, and I would have some insight into dealing with the issue to help me. One good example was YM331 Ministry to Troubled Youth when we heard about a teen cutting herself, and I knew how to respond appropriately from the class I had just taken.
Assignments were geared in such a way that we could use them in our ministry straight away. For example, we had to write a 3-year curriculum program for teaching junior and senior church youth. It was tedious work, but upon completion we were set for three years of youth ministry curriculum which then freed me up to focus on other things in the youth ministry.
We learned principles as well as actual real-life stories from the professors, because they, too, were once youth pastors. It was good to have someone to talk to outside of the local church setting to vent, to confide in, share personal feelings, and to also bounce ideas off before making a decision.
In addition, my classmates became friends and partners in ministry. We helped each other on assignments, shared notes, and through interaction became friends and coworkers. Together we ministered to youth in Penang and participated in many youth ministry events. We also taught a one-year Certificate of Youth Ministry program through MBTS to serve the local churches that didn’t have a full time paid youth pastor.
Through my exposure to YMI I also found it helpful to know that we have counterparts all over the world who have the same heart for young people. I was invited to represent Asia at the U.S. YMI Summit in 2008. It was truly an eye opener and helped me to grow further and make friends with Huberto and Vasya, Sam and Melissa Hughes, and Phil Rice and other YMI staff.
I praise God for Youth Ministry International’s contribution to my ministry here in Malaysia and pray that it will extend to the entire world of youth!
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