When Dreams Become Reality

By Frank Mills, YMI Africa Director

How would you define a dream?  I’m not talking about what happens when we are sleeping. I am talking about what goes on in our minds and our hearts when we are wide awake and thinking about the future. Is it an aspiration, a wish, a hope?  I like this definition, “a dream is a cherished ambition or desire”.

One of the requests that YMI has been receiving for years from nationals that we have been training in youth ministry is their desire for curriculum or books that are written by their own youth workers and youth pastors. We have prayed much for this request to be answered. Their desire for accuracy of contextualization is the driving force behind their requests. In response to their numerous requests, a dream of YMI (a cherished ambition or desire) has been to see some of our graduates write that curriculum and to pen those books. Over the years, that dream faded in and out of our thinking and our prayer lives as more pressing concerns demanded our attention. But the dream was always there. The dream never died!

Another definition of a dream that I discovered is, “a dream is something that fully satisfies a desire”. This dream and desire of YMI to see our graduates take up the challenge to begin writing has recently been fully satisfied.

Several of our Nigerian MA graduates in youth ministry from the Nigeria Baptist Theological Seminary have written books on how to be more effective in youth ministry. The impact that our YMI professors have made in the lives of these graduates spurred them on to begin to write so that others could benefit from the training that they received from the youth ministry courses that our team of professors taught at NBTS. We have highlighted a few of those Nigerian graduates because your prayers and financial giving to YMI have played a strategic role in our graduate’s achievements. We want you to join in with us in our satisfaction of a dream fulfilled. To God be all the Glory!

Below are two examples of recent books from two of our graduates!

Joshua Ibukunoluwa holds a Master of Arts degree in Youth and Family Ministry as well as a Master of Divinity from the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the National Coordinator of the Baptist Student Fellowship of the Nigerian Baptist Convention. He is married to Dr. Rebecca Mojirayo and is blessed with three wonderful girls.

“My ministry calling to young people received divine direction and empowerment through the arrival of Youth Ministry International USA on the soil of Nigeria. This ministry is being led by Dr. Randy Smith. So, I am grateful to God for sending this team to us and grateful to the team members for making themselves available instruments in the hands of the Lord. I appreciate you sirs and mam: Dr. Randy Smith, Pastor Frank Mill, Dr. Chris Davis, Dr. Dave Adams, Dr. Daniel Broyles and Dr. Karen Jones.”

Samuel Alabi holds a Master of Arts degree in Youth and Family Ministry as well as a Master of Divinity from the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary and is the Youth Ministerial Office for the Nigerian Baptist Convention.

“The Transformer” is my most current book and is being published this month! I am presently working on turning my Master of Arts in Youth Ministry thesis into a textbook for Youth Ministry in my context and culture. It is to be titled CONTEMPORARY CHURCH-BASED YOUTH MINISTRY.  I am grateful to God and to Dr. Randy Smith of Youth Ministry International, who supervised my thesis. It was the thoroughness of the research required that makes it easier to turn my thesis into a textbook for Youth Ministry.”