Strategic Partner Update


Trainer Updates

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The Barrs

Jon: Like everyone else I’m dealing with work changes.  Thankfully, I am still working.  That is something some of you reading this may not be doing because of the effects of Covid-19 (I know this because some of you have contacted our office and told us that you have lost your jobs due to the pandemic).  March through June was to be travel time for me with trips to China, Romania, Russia, and Malaysia but all trips have been canceled. While disappointed, I am inwardly glad. My biggest assignment this year is to teach our YM 501 course in Ethiopia in July.  YM 501 is academic talk for the first youth ministry course in YMI’s Master of Arts program.  Since this will be my first-time teaching, I have been a bit worried about putting together the notes, power point, and videos for a 32-hour course.  Being isolated at home has allowed me quality time I needed to put the course together.  Now I can look forward to boarding a plane and having the opportunity to train the trainers around the world.

Sonnet:  It was a big disappointment when we had to postpone our YMI 2020 Summer Summit due to COVID-19. I had looked forward to making sure all went smoothly for my first all YMI event. It was even more sad for our trainers around the world who had arranged stateside furloughs with special times with family and friends they hadn’t seen for years.  But even more heartbreaking are the calls and emails we have received personally and at YMI from financial support partners who are not able at this time to send their support due to losing jobs, closing their businesses, and other heartbreaking situations. I remember the joy it brought to our friends when they began  to support us – and now I see the pain in their emails advising us that they could no longer support us and in addition, they suffer the pain of having to lay off employees, bringing the concern that their company may not make it through this difficult time. We, and all our trainers, understand. Friends and supporters have lost jobs, retirement accounts have been decimated and several families have experienced tragic losses. This is real life. But we and YMI are still planning for the future, our trainers are still training youth leaders, and most of all, God is STILL in control!

You can contact Jon at or Sonnet at