Thank you for your help… Here are a few testimonies from our training programs.
Tools for Life and Ministry - by Samuel Vang
My junior year at Moody Bible Institute, I would pray an odd prayer but honest prayer. I’d say, “God, please help me learn to communicate, not for myself but that I’d be able to better serve you and better represent you.” Communication was a huge obstacle in my life. For example, I couldn’t have a conversation at the dining table for more than 3 minutes. I felt as though there was an invisible wall between me and those I wanted to talk to. It wasn’t conversation for the sake of conversation or my own popularity but I knew that if I wanted to minister I would have to be in some sort of relationship with them.
Communication is learned. So that year I decided to learn communication. First, I signed up for a year commitment in Open Air Ministries, that’s where you go out and share the gospel to complete strangers on the streets of Chicago. Secondly, I talked to friends about it. Third, I’d pray that prayer every day knowing that God wanted me to learn to communicate better. Lastly, I even saw a counselor and we practiced conversations in different situations and delt with my self-confidence.
Communication is often an ability that many people believe is either innate or absent. They put themselves in the “introvert” category and give up on improving their ability to relate to others. Youth Resources realized that there is a need for youth workers to get the relational and communication training. They provided that through Tent Makers. In a single long day we learned and practice communication skills that help reach to the heart of people. I learned to take notes about people, a guiding structure for a conversation, and the beest wais how to be encouraging. They covered things that took me a year to learn and taught me beyond my skills of relational ability all in 8 hours.
If it wasn’t for Youth Resources the Youth of the Twin Cities would be left uncared for by the lack of Youth Workers. I believe that it is the triaining, guidance, resources, and support that Youth Resources provides that has kept many youth workers going in the Twin Cities Area.
The Impact of Youth Resources and Ron McConico - by North Minneapolis Youth Worker
I am a youth leader at a Church in North Minneapolis. I also am the worship leader and youth choir director at the church as well. I have been so blessed under the ministries of Youth Resources. As a leader who wears more than one hat, it has been refreshing to participate in the different aspects of Youth Resources.
Youth Resources coordinated a 15 month program called the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative. This is an opportunity that few youth leaders will ever get. I was accepted into the program and after completing the first workshop I can see that this is a great resource for me because I need to be balanced as a person and leader. DeVos has offered to help me grow as a person within the next 15 months. I look forward to learning more about myself and who God has made me to be so that I can effectively reach others for the Kingdom of God.
Because I am a creative person and love music and the arts, I have also been blessed by the concerts that Youth Resources makes available to youth workers. This goes back for a few years now. Each concert that I have been able to attend, I have received free tickets. I remember the first a few years ago was Michael W. Smith. It was a beautiful time and I would not have been able to experience that without the resources offered to me through Youth Resources. Recently, I enjoyed an amazing concert by Steven Curtis Chapman, where God really spoke and encouraged me to pursue all that He has given me to do. Concert tickets may not be a big deal to some, but for me, they give me an opportunity to get ministered to, instead of always doing the ministering.
Once a month, Youth Resources sponsors a Youth Leaders Luncheon. These luncheons connect me to other youth leaders in the city. We pray together, encourage one another, share ideas with one another and inspire one another to work together towards one common goal: to reach young people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and advance the Kingdom of God in the lives of young people. I have worked with children and youth for about 10 years now and I have never seen such a push to collaborate and work together. I have met some amazing people and look forward to what God will do through all of us in the near future. I have also been empowered to speak up more, which is something that I usually don’t do much of in public settings. These brothers and sisters have helped me to come out of my shell and expose the ideas that hide within. Youth Resources has encouraged me to find a mentor and a prayer partner and this support is huge.
Ron McConico the Executive Director of Youth Resources has been a long-time friend of mine since I was 14 years old. I accepted Jesus into my heart at the age of 14 at a camp that Ron worked at. When I came back from camp, Ron was there to offer me a church to go to. From the last part of junior high and all through my high school years, Ron faithfully picked me up for church every Sunday. That is so amazing! I will never forget that. That is the kind of impact I want to have on the youth that I work with today. To let them know that someone cares enough to go the extra mile to make sure they have what they need. This is what Youth Resources is doing and it is making a huge impact on other youth leaders. Burn out is less because someone is looking out for the youth leaders, offering them opportunities for training, retreats, entertainment, fellowship and collaboration.
Youth Resources selflessly works hard to see that others are blessed. For as long as I have been involved, they have tirelessly worked hard to be a blessing to others. They care about youth and youth leaders. I have known this for years, being a youth under Ron and now, a co-laborer for youth. I could go on and on, but I want to make sure that you know that Youth Resources is making a huge impact in the lives of many. Thank you.