In July of 2021, I was supposed to attend the Ethiopia Theological College graduation and be the guest speaker to challenge the more than 150 new ministry graduates and particularly the 13 FIRST Youth Ministry MA graduates in all of East Africa. HOWEVER, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a suspension of issuing tourist visas, I was unable to travel to participate in the historic graduation event. This was extremely disappointing for me, the administration, and especially for the Youth Ministry graduates.

FAST FORWARD to June 18, 2022! As these pictures show, I made it to the graduation this year and had the honor of speaking to and challenging not only all of the 2022 Ethiopian Theological College ministry graduates but an additional 7 Youth MA grads, bringing the total to 20 Youth Ministry MA Graduates…the FIRST such in all of EAST AFRICA! I also had the privilege of meeting an additional 15 new Youth MA program students! What a blessing! The principle of ETC said that YMI’s training partnership with ETC has “changed the landscape” of youth ministry in Ethiopia! Praise God for His faithfulness to YMI and our training team involved in our African projects. Back in May of 2019 another historical landmark was reached when we saw 22 MA graduates from the first WEST AFRICAN Youth MA program from our partnership with the Nigeria Baptist Theological Seminary. And now Ethiopia and East Africa join the landscape of African historical Youth Ministry training moments!

To add to these historic moments, on the Sunday evening after graduation I attended the first formal meeting of the newly organized Ethiopian Youth Ministry Country Coalition (see picture) that was started through the partnership of YMI, our ETC MA graduates, the ETC administration and 5 other evangelical youth ministry training organizations in Ethiopia. The goal of this organization is to unite training efforts to make sure all of Ethiopia’s 10 states are saturated with quality local church youth ministry training opportunities so that every young person in Ethiopia has an opportunity the hear the Gospel and reach Spiritual Maturity through the  

discipleship efforts of a local church that has a quality you program! They have already launched training in 6 of the 10 states! This is the history that God has given me and YMI the privilege of being a part. Africa has the fastest-growing population of any continent and has the greatest percentage of Christ-followers! Your financial and prayer support for YMI has made our participation in these historical landmark events possible! THANK YOU AGAIN!

Dr. Randy Smith

Dr. Randy Smith

President & Founder

Randy has personally ministered to teens in over 47 countries and trained National Youth Workers in more than 20 countries, starting his ministry to youth in 1970.