Greetings from Romania!

My name is Daniel, and I am the one across the table. The one wearing glasses is my pastor, David, and the other one is my younger brother, Samuel. I live in Dudeștii Noi, Romania, a small village near Timișoara. 

I grew up in a Christian family and I have always been involved in church life. My family was one of those that enjoyed serving in various ways at church, so I grew up with a serving mentality.

Until David became the pastor of our church, I was involved in youth ministry in the worship band in a few churches. All I knew about youth ministry was that it needs to have a worship part and a preaching part, which is not all bad but I always felt there had to be something more. 

The home church doesn’t have a youth ministry, only a children’s ministry, in which my dad is involved, and I am helping him whenever it is needed. But things might change in the future regarding youth ministry.

A few months ago, David approach me at the end of a Sunday service and asked, “What do you think about us starting a youth ministry?” To which my response was, “With who?” Besides my brother and I, there were no youth. But David replied, “You know, I struggled with the same mentality for a while, but in the end, I realized that I can start with you and your brother! You two are my youth, so let’s start something. At least give me a chance to share with you what I have in mind when I say youth ministry.” So we did. We gave him a chance to share with us what youth ministry means for him. 

At our first meeting David presented the 5 levels of youth ministry programming that he learned from Youth Ministry International. I was amazed to see that youth ministry is more than just worship and preaching. This fresh perspective brought hope into my life. At the end of that meeting David asked us what do we think, and my response was, “Are all youth ministries following this program? If not, why not?” I think that the face of youth ministry in Romania would look different if leaders and pastors would implement these teachings.

From that moment on we continued to meet every week to prepare for youth ministry. Now, instead of seeing darkness in our church, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Instead of asking, “With who?” I am asking, “How?” or “When?” We are far from saying that we have a successful youth ministry, but we are on our way. Youth Ministry International, through my pastor, brought hope where I thought there was none.

Daniel is a youth impacted by the ministry of YMI in Romania. David is a student from the first graduating class having taken all nine of our courses at the Baptist Theological Institute of Bucharest. David is now doing many things with YMI including working with Phil Rice on informal training and helping to organize national youth leader conferences. 

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